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How Martindale on?MedicinesComplete can help you during the games period

Sandra Sutton and Kathy Eager, on behalf of the Martindale editorial team, explains how Martindale could help you deal with queries during the London 2012 games

By Sandra Sutton and Kathy Eager

Sandra Sutton and Kathy Eager, on behalf of the Martindale editorial team, explains how Martindale could help you deal with queries during the London 2012 games

The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be centred at the Olympic Park in Stratford, east London, with other venues in and around the capital and further afield. Athletes from about 205 countries are expected to participate in these games. Furthermore, the excitement of the Olympics is expected to attract many thousands of visitors from around the UK and the rest of the world. The increased number of international visitors, particularly around the Olympic venues, may present challenges for pharmacists who could expect questions about unfamiliar medicines. Possible problems that you may encounter include:

• A medicine is not available in the UK
• An equivalent preparation is available in the UK but the active ingredient is not identical, although its pharmacological actions are equivalent
• The trade name is used in multiple countries but local preparations contain active ingredients that are not pharmacologically equivalent
• Language difficulties

All the information you will need

‘Martindale: the complete drug reference’ on MedicinesComplete () offers a number of ways to help pharmacists with these types of problem. It contains evaluated information on drugs in clinical use throughout the world, as well as information on selected investigational drugs, herbal and complementary medicines, pharmaceutical excipients, vitamins and nutritional agents, drugs of abuse, and recreational drugs.

In addition to this, Martindale has a section with information on more than 230,000 proprietary preparations from 49 countries or regions to help you identify foreign medicines and their ingredients. This information includes the proprietary name, the manufacturer or distributor, the active ingredients (with hyperlinks to the individual drug monographs), a summary of the licensed indications for that country, and a warning if the product contains ingredients that may be restricted in certain sports.

Foreign medicines

In order to identify a foreign medicine and find out what its active ingredient is, the preparation database in Martindale on MedicinesComplete can be searched by brand or manufacturer name or by country. For example, a search for the product Allegra, available in the US, will indicate that it contains fexofenadine hydrochloride. A hyperlink on the active ingredient will direct the user to the fexofenadine drug monograph where the active ingredient can be matched to the product available in the UK (Telfast).

Similarly, a search for Rinexin, a medicine available in some Scandinavian countries, will indicate that it contains phenylpropanolamine and that there are no products with this active ingredient available here. Medicines containing other indirect-acting sympathomimetics can then be identified in Martindale by following the hyperlink under “Uses and administration of phenylpropanolamine”.

Same trade name, different drug

It is important to be aware of the fact that medicines with the same trade name may not contain the same active ingredients in different countries. For example, assisting with a prescription for Atenix for a visitor from Argentina could result in an inappropriate medicine being prescribed and dispensed. A search in Martindale for Atenix shows that this name has been used in Argentina, Chile and the UK.

However, each of these products contains a different ingredient: sertraline is the active ingredient of the product available in Argentina, the Chilean product contains sibutramine hydrochloride and the UK preparation contains atenolol. To help, the Martindale entries for Atenix all contain a cautionary note alerting users to the fact that preparations with a similar name but different ingredients have been marketed in other countries.

Similarly, a visitor from the Philippines may request what sounds like Amaryl, indicating that they are using it for severe headaches. A search on Martindale shows that Amaryl in the UK and many other countries contains glimepiride (which clearly is not for headaches), but the entries for these preparations also warn that preparations with similar names in other countries may have different ingredients. By entering “amaryl” in the search box with the “suggest on” function activated, other alternative products are suggested. One of these is a product available in the Phillipines known by the name Amaryll. By selecting this preparation, you will see that this product contains tramadol hydrochloride. The hyperlink from the active ingredient leads to the drug monograph where a selection of possible alternative preparations can be found.

Language barriers

Situations may arise where you need to assist a visitor who speaks or reads little English. The editorial staff from Martindale have compiled a list of some of the more common pharmaceutical forms and routes in a number of major European languages, together with their English translation. It is provided to assist in interpreting packaging, product information, or prescriptions written in another language.

Helpful tool

We have highlighted only a few of the many ways Martindale on MedicinesComplete could help you in your day-to-day work, particularly during the games period. For further information and for details of a free Olympic period trial offer see the advertisement.

Citation: Electronicjuice URI: 11104037

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