Dr. Donyai’s expert comments are in the news!

A study published this month in the BMJ reports an association between the use of certain anticholinergic drugs and the risk of dementia in the future. Dr Parastou Donyai, Associate Professor of Social and Cognitive Pharmacy, provided her expert comment on this study to the Science Media Centre and said,

“This paper ties in well with current advice for doctors to be careful when using drugs with anticholinergic effects in older people, those who are frail and others with numerous health conditions. The warning to not use anticholinergic drugs in Parkinson’s disease is also important. But the headline claim that some drugs, especially antidepressants, can cause dementia up to 20 years later should be looked at closely. This type of study imagines that patients actually take their drugs as they were prescribed for them. But we know from other research that people with long-term health conditions really only take their medication as prescribed around half of the time – the other half, people either take more or less of their medication or not at all. This issue of ‘non-adherence’ is common in people with heart conditions, stomach problems and mental health illnesses including depression and we want to be careful not to add to the problem. So my first comment is to remember that the paper really looked at the ‘prescribing’ of drugs rather than the ‘taking’ of these medications. This brings me to my second comment which is that anyone worried about taking their antidepressant as a result of this paper should speak to their doctor or pharmacist first and not suddenly stop their medication.”

Results from the study along with Dr. Parastou’s comments have also been reported in the BBC and The Guardian.

BBC: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-43881209

The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/apr/25/some-antidepressants-linked-to-dementia-risk

Link to study: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k1315

Hamza Alhamad’s oral presentation at HSRPP 2018

Hamza presenting his work

Dr. Hamza recently completed his doctoral work investigating public attitudes towards the reuse of medication returned to community pharmacies. In his presentation at the HSRPP Conference held at the University of Newcastle this month, he reported the results of his cross-sectional study about the UK public’s intentions to reuse medications if this became a legislative possibility in the future. The conference abstract was published in the International Journal of Pharmacy Practice.

Alhamad H, Patel N, and Donyai P. Beliefs and intentions towards reusing medicines in the future: a large- scale, cross-sectional study of patients in the UK. Health Services Research and Pharmacy Practice Conference April 2018, University of Newcastle, UK. Int J Pharm Prac Vol 26 Issue S1.


Oral presentations at the Pharmacy PhD Conference 2018

George’s presentation on pharmacist’s input into general practice

Our Pharmacy PhD conference showcases the research conducted by PhD students at the Reading School of Pharmacy and was held at the Henley Business School earlier this month. We had six oral presentations from pharmacy practice students:

  • Patient Adherence to Oral Anticancer Medications in Breast Cancer by Othman Alomeir
  • A systematic review of non-antibiotic measures for the prevention of urinary tract infections in pregnancy by Flavia Ghouri
  • Multiple medicines co-administration in intensive care units by Sophie Oduyale
  • Exploration of prescribing patterns of benzodiazepine and non-benzodiazepine (Z-drugs) medications to manage insomnia in Saudi Arabia by Ali Dobia
  • Understanding safety differently: an exploration of the use of IV insulin infusions by Mais Iflaifel
  • Capturing pharmacists’ input into general practice: a programme of developmental work by Georgios Karampataki

Many congratulations to George who was also awarded a prize for the best second year oral presentation.

Othman’s presentation on adherence to medication in breast cancer

Sophie’s presentation on medicine co-adminstration in intensive care units

Ali’s presentation on prescribing patterns of benzodiazepine and non-benzodiazepine medicines to manage insomnia

Mais’s presentation on understanding safety in the use of IV insulin infusions

Flavia’a presentation on non-antibiotic measures to prevent UTIs in pregnancy

Latest conference presentation

Sophie presenting at the 23rd European Association of Hospital Pharmacists, Gothenburg 2018

S. ODUYALE (1), F. Fillippidou (1), M. Borthwick (2), N. Patel (1).
1University of Reading, Pharmacy Practice, Reading, United Kingdom.
2John Radcliffe Hospital – Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Critical Care, Oxford, United Kingdom.


Co-administration of multiple intravenous (IV) medicines down the same line usually occurs in the intensive care units (ICUs) of hospitals due to the numerous amounts of prescribed medicines and limited venous access. Ensuring medicine compatibility before co-administration is therefore a critical element for the safe delivery of intravenous medicines to patients, as medicine incompatibility has the potential to compromise therapeutic efficacy or cause an adverse effect.


The aim of the study was to identify types of medicines co-administered via Y-site, determine the frequency of this practice and how medicine compatibility is checked before co-administration. This information could inform on strategies to improve safer co-administration practice within ICUs.

Material and methods

An inception cohort study was conducted across 4 ICUs (2 Adult, 1 Cardiothoracic and 1 Neuro ICU) in a large teaching hospital. A data collection tool was designed, piloted and used on the ICUs to record the use of catheters and connectors, types and frequency of co-administrations and means by which medicine compatibility was checked. Patients were followed for a period of 7 days or until discharged.


Forty-nine patients were included in the study and all received at least 1 or more infusions. Twenty-nine had 2 or more co-infusions through the same catheter via a Y site connector. There were 114 cases of medicine co-administration, of which propofol and fentanyl were the most frequently administered medicine combination (39%). Compatibility was checked for 90 out of the 114 cases (78.9%), with the remainder either not being verified or not done/checked. Of the 90 checked cases, 41.1% (37/90) were based on nurses’ experience and 21.1% (19/90) on the Thames Valley compatibility chart.


Co-administration of multiple IV medicines via a Y site connector seems to occur frequently in ICUs. Although compatibility was checked most of the time, nurses’ experience was found to be the most common means of deciding compatibility. Further work is needed to explore the rationale behind nurses’ decision making process regarding the administration of 2 or more medicines down the same line and how this may affect patients.

References and/or Acknowledgements

University of Reading’s Undergraduate Research Opportunity Placement for funding Foteni Fillippidou.