Doctors and pharmacists differ over steroid advice

Nearly 84% of dermatologists say pharmacists have modified prescriptions: US study

Patients may be getting conflicting advice over how to use corticosteroid creams, with a US study suggesting pharmacists’ recommendations commonly contradict dermatologists’ instructions.

The researchers found that the two groups often gave differing advice to patients about how long to use the medications and how much to use, and they emphasised different risks and side effects, in the study in the Journal of the American Medical Association Dermatology.

"Patients may be receiving conflicting counselling on topical corticosteroid use from dermatologists and pharmacists," said lead author Dr Ashley Millard, a dermatologist at the Marshfield Clinic Health System in Wisconsin.

The researchers sent an electronic survey to 117 dermatologists and 2954 pharmacists in the US state to look more closely at the possibility that dermatologists and pharmacists might be giving patients different

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