Research Roundup

Debbie Rigby presents the latest in research news relevant to pharmacists

Benzodiazepines are Prescribed More Frequently to Patients Already at Risk for Benzodiazepine-Related Adverse Events in Primary Care

A one-year longitudinal cohort study of nearly 66,000 people has shown 15 % were prescribed at least one benzodiazepine, and among these 5 % received high doses. Compared to non-recipients, benzodiazepine recipients were more likely to have diagnoses of depression, substance abuse, tobacco use, osteoporosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, alcohol abuse, sleep, and asthma. Overall benzodiazepines and high-dose benzodiazepines were more frequently to patients at higher risk for benzodiazepine-related adverse events.

Journal of General Internal Medicine, First online: 13 May 2016.

Medscape summary


Prevalence, Patterns and Predictors of Psychotropic Polypharmacy Among Elderly Individuals with Parkinson’s Disease In Long Term Care Settings In The United States

In a retrospective, cross-sectional study, researchers found that the prevalence of psychotropic polypharmacy is high among older adults with Parkinson’s diseas. Antidepressant usage constituted the majority of the psychotropic medication use among both nursing home and home settings. The authors said these findings underscore the importance of evidence-based prescribing, especially with psychotropic medication use in older individuals with PD, in order to reduce unnecessary and potentially detrimental polypharmacy.

Journal of Parkinson’s Disease 2016;6(1):247-255.



Telehealth to improve asthma control in pregnancy: A randomized controlled trial

Telehealth interventions supporting self-management can potentially improve asthma control and asthma-related quality of life during pregnancy. Pregnant women with asthma (n = 72) from two antenatal clinics in Melbourne, Australia, were randomized to placebo or a telehealth programme supported by a handheld respiratory device and an Android smart phone application (Breathe-easy©) and written asthma action plan. This group had better asthma control and asthma-related quality of life compared with usual care.

Respirology 2016



Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain

This 2016 US guideline is intended to improve communication about benefits and risks of opioids for chronic pain, improve safety and effectiveness of pain treatment, and reduce risks associated with long-term opioid therapy.

JAMA. 2016;315(15):1624-1645.



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