Article: Volume 46 Number 9 Page 828 - October 2019

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  Dent Update 2019; 46: 828-835

General Dental practice:  Safe Prescribing in General Dental Practice – Challenges and Solutions

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Abstract: All dental practitioners will treat patients who take medicines. An ageing population, combined with improved management of patients with multiple long-term co-morbidities, has seen a rise in complex medication regimens. Healthcare specialization, a widening drug market and better access to medicines has also contributed to more patients taking multiple medicines for conditions, often managed by a variety of specialists. Whether these medicines are prescribed or bought over-the-counter, dental practitioners must understand the implications that these treatment regimens can have on dental care.

Clinical relevance: Prescribing medicines is a small but essential part of dental practice. This paper describes various aspects of prescribing, the potential implications of dental treatment to a patient’s medication regimen, and important considerations to reduce the risk of medication errors and improve patient safety.

Author notes: Julie Mason, BSc, PhD, MRPharmS, AFHEA, SCRIPT Editorial Manager, University of Birmingham ( Hannah Vallance, MPharm, ClinDip, FHEA, SCRIPT Editorial Manager, University of Birmingham, Sarah Pontefract, MPharm, ClinDip, PhD, MRPharmS, Lecturer in Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics, SCRIPT Editorial Lead, University of Birmingham and Jamie J Coleman, MBChB, MD, MA(Med Ed), FRCP, FBPhS, FFPM(hon), Professor of Clinical Pharmacology and Medical Education, Institute of Clinical Sciences, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, B15 2SP; Honorary Consultant Physician/Associate Medical Director, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT; Director, Yellow Card Centre West Midlands, City Hospital, Dudley Road, Birmingham, B18 7QH, UK.

Objective: To recognize the challenges that prescribed medicines present and the importance of modern therapeutic agents in the management of the dental patient.


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