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Specific guidelines were issued by the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which apply only to confirmed cases of anthrax. Pull up the CDC website for more information.

Please note: CDC warns pharmacists not to use Penicillin by itself because the anthrax bacteria collected in Florida, New York, and Washington, D.C. contains an enzyme which can render the antibiotic powerless.

Please caution your patients and customers about buying Ciprofloxacin over the internet without a physician which is unwise. Pharmacists need to counsel patients against taking antibiotics out of fear of anthrax or to stockpile their own supply of powerful antibiotics such as Ciprofloxacin and the dangers of patients' self-medicating.

Pharmacists need to caution their patients about the FDA recommendation that Cirprofloxacin is not recommended for children because of the risk of joint disorders and it has been untested on pregnant women and nursing mothers. Check the CDC website for information of drugs of choice.

The role of the pharmacist in emergency care and bioterrorism is crucial to the well being of your community. The time to understand the issues and to be prepared is NOW. Two useful links for pharmacists include (the CDC Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Program) includes link to the National Pharmaceutical Stock Pile Program and the Health Alert Network; and (the John Hopkins University Center for Civilian Biodefense Studies) includes link to the JAMA Concensus Statements on Medical Management of Bioterrorism Agents.

Also please check out APhA's website:

With the present crisis, we pharmacists need to think and act locally with dispatch. If there ever was a time for pharmacists to work together to protect the public health of their community, it is NOW! Stay calm and lend a hand to others.

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Date of Last Update: 07/27/12