Research Roundup

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Debbie Rigby rounds up the latest in research news

Chronic use of tramadol after acute pain episode

In this large study of USA of administrative claims data, people receiving tramadol alone after surgery had similar to somewhat higher risks of prolonged opioid use compared with those receiving other short-acting opioids. Receipt of tramadol alone was associated with a 6% increase in the risk of additional opioid use relative to people receiving other short acting opioids.

BMJ 2019;365:l1849.


Different doses, durations and modes of delivery of nicotine replacement therapy for smoking cessation

Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) aims to replace nicotine from cigarettes to ease the transition from cigarette smoking to abstinence. It works by reducing the intensity of craving and withdrawal symptoms. A Cochrane review has concluded that combination NRT versus single‐form NRT, and 4 mg versus 2 mg nicotine gum, can increase the chances of successfully stopping smoking. Twenty‐one mg patches resulted in higher quit rates than 14 mg (24‐hour) patches, and using 25 mg patches resulted in higher quit rates than using 15 mg (16‐hour) patches. Forms of fast‐acting NRT, such as gum and lozenge, are as effective a cessation aid as nicotine patches.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2019, Issue 4.


Tapentadol: an overview of the safety profile

Tapentadol, a centrally acting analgesic, combines two mechanisms of action, namely μ-opioid receptor (MOR) agonism and noradrenaline reuptake inhibition. This review discusses current safety data on tapentadol, with a focus on some specific events, risk of abuse, and driving ability, a well-accepted proxy of the ability of taking critical decisions. Tapentadol appears to be better tolerated than opioids in studies evaluating specific AEs, such as gastrointestinal events, hypertension, pulmonary dysfunction, serotonin syndrome, endocrine toxicity, and convulsions.

Journal of Pain Research 2019;12:1569-76.


Controlled Trial of Budesonide–Formoterol as Needed for Mild Asthma

In a 52-week, randomized, open-label, parallel-group, controlled trial involving adults with mild asthma, patients were randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups: salbutamol prn, budesonide 200mcg twice daily plus as-needed salbutamol or budesonide/formoterol 200/6 as-needed. Budesonide/formoterol used as needed was superior to salbutamol used as needed for the prevention of asthma exacerbations.

New England Journal of Medicine 2019.

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