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This Week in Psychiatry — 4/4/11

March 30, 2011

Does Bupropion Aid Smoking Cessation in Acute Coronary Syndrome Patients?

The authors of an Archives of Internal Medicine study evaluated the safety and efficacy of proven smoking cessation aid, bupropion, in patients with acute coronary syndrome. Their 8-week, double-blind, randomized study (n=151) compared bupropion with nurse-administered support for smoking cessation to placebo. Primary outcome measures for efficacy and safety were smoking prevalence at 1-year post hospitalization and intervention, and 1-year adverse events, respectively. Smoking abstinence rates for bupropion and placebo were 45% vs 44% at 3 months, respectively; 37% vs 42% at 6 months; and 31% vs 33% at 1 year. There was therefore no significant therapeutic effect in this population. Dizziness was the most commonly reported safety event when compared to placebo.

Another Copy Number Variation Linked to Schizophrenia

A group of genomics researchers recently published a study in Nature in which they identified a genetic mutation they believe is linked to a higher risk of schizophrenia. According to the researchers, some copy number variations implicated previously in the context of schizophrenia risk play a very limited role as such. A genome-wide scan of a large group of rare copy number variations revealed a significant association between pathogenesis of schizophrenia and duplications near the vasoactive intestinal peptide receptor 2 gene (VIPR2).

Electronic Tracking Systems Lead to Fewer Medication Errors

A single-site study, published in the Journal of Psychiatric Practice, evaluated the potential of an electronic tracking system to reduce medication errors. The researchers reviewed 65,466 patient days and 617,524 billed doses over 5-years at a psychiatric unit. A web-based medication error reporting system and a separate but linked prescribing system were implemented. There were 27.89 medication errors per 1,000 patients in year 1, decreasing to 5.50 per 1,000 patients in year 3 and to 3.43 per 1,000 in year 5. Achievement of successively fewer prescription mistakes in the years following implementation of these systems was achieved by continuing user training, according to the authors.

“This Week in Psychiatry” is written Lonnie Stoltzfoos

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