Research Roundup

Debbie Rigby presents the latest research news relevant to pharmacy

Efficacy, Tolerability, and Dose-Dependent Effects of Opioid Analgesics for Low Back Pain

Opioid analgesics are commonly used for low back pain, however this systematic review and meta-analysis concludes they are not likely to be clinically important within guideline recommended doses for chronic low back pain. Evidence on long-term efficacy is lacking. The efficacy of opioid analgesics in acute low back pain is unknown.

JAMA Intern Med. Published online May 23, 2016.


Pregnancy outcome following maternal exposure to pregabalin may call for concern

A safety signal for the use of pregabalin in pregnancy has been highlighted in this multicenter, observational prospective cohort study. A significantly higher major birth defect rate in the pregabalin group was observed after first trimester exposure to pregabalin.

Neurology, Published online before print May 18, 2016

Medscape summary


What factors are important for deprescribing in Australian long-term care facilities? Perspectives of residents and health professionals

Prescribing (and deprescribing) decisions made by GPs may be influenced by nurses, pharmacists, other medical specialists and residents or their representatives; however priorities differ between health professionals. This study found that GPs ranked ‘evidence for deprescribing’ and ‘communication with family/resident’ as most important factors; whilst pharmacists ranked ‘clinical appropriateness of therapy’ and ‘identifying residents’ goals of care’ as most important.

BMJ Open 2016;6:e009781.


Comparative effectiveness and safety of strategies for preventing NSAID-associated gastrointestinal toxicity

A network meta-analysis of 82 studies (n= 125 053) has shown that a combination of selective COX-2 inhibitors plus PPIs provides the best gastrointestinal protection, followed by selective COX-2 inhibitors, and thirdly by nonselective NSAIDs plus PPIs.

Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics 2016;43(12):1262-75.









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