Debbie Rigby rounds up the latest in research news 

Deprescribing benzodiazepine receptor agonists

This paper includes an evidence-based guideline to help clinicians make decisions about when and how to safely taper and stop benzodiazepine receptor agonists. The guidelines recommend slow tapering be offered to elderly adults (≥ 65 years) who take benzodiazepine receptor agonists, regardless of duration of use, and suggest that deprescribing (tapering slowly) be offered to adults aged 18 to 64 who have used benzodiazepine receptor agonists for more than 4 weeks.

Canadian Family Physician May 2018;64(5):339-351.

 

Complications related to chronic supratherapeutic use of codeine containing compound analgesics in a cohort of patients presenting for codeine withdrawal

A retrospective case review of over 100 patients presenting for primary codeine dependence from codeine combination products has demonstrated more complications relating to supratherapeutic use of ibuprofen/codeine versus paracetamol/codeine containing compound analgesics. Patients taking ibuprofen/codeine containing compound analgesics were more likely to have gastrointestinal bleeding, anaemia and renal tubular acidosis.

Drug and Alcohol Review 2018.

 

Analysis of blood pressure screening results worldwide

A cross-sectional survey of more than one million adults in 80 countries has shown almost half do not have their blood pressure controlled (defined as <140/90 mmHg). One in six people who were not receiving antihypertensive treatment were hypertensive.

Lancet Global Health 2018.

 

Different durations of corticosteroid therapy for exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

A Cochrane review has concluded that five days of oral corticosteroids is likely to be sufficient for treatment of adults with acute exacerbations of COPD. This review suggests that the likelihood is low that shorter courses of systemic corticosteroids (of around five days) lead to worse outcomes than are seen with longer (10 to 14 days) courses. The studies in this review did not include people with mild or moderate COPD.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2018, Issue 3.