Research Roundup

Debbie Rigby rounds up the latest in research news

Pharmacist services in nursing homes: A systematic review and meta‐analysis

Pharmacists have been contributing to the care of residents in nursing homes and play a significant role in ensuring quality use of medicine. A systematic review and meta‐analysis of 52 studies has shown that pharmacist‐led services reduced the mean number of falls among residents in nursing homes. Mixed results were noted on the impact of pharmacists’ services on mortality, hospitalisation and admission rates among residents.

British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, first published 2019.


Controversies in medicine: the role of calcium and vitamin D supplements in adults

This review addresses the evidence for and safety of calcium and vitamin supplementation. Vitamin D supplementation is advisable for individuals with minimal sunlight exposure. Supplementation with calcium alone for fracture reduction is not supported by the literature; but calcium supplementation, with concomitant vitamin D supplementation, is supported for patients at high risk of calcium and vitamin D insufficiency. The authors conclude that supplements should not be given routinely to healthy older individuals.

MJA 2019;211(10):468-73.


Dapagliflozin in Patients with Heart Failure and Reduced Ejection Fraction

In this phase 3, placebo-controlled trial of 4744 patients with heart failure and an ejection fraction of 40% or less, dapagliflozin 10mg once daily reduced the risk of worsening heart failure or death from cardiovascular causes, regardless of the presence or absence of diabetes. The frequency of adverse events related to volume depletion, renal dysfunction, and hypoglycaemia did not differ between active and control groups.

N Engl J Med 2019; 381:1995-2008.


Penicillin allergy: a practical approach to assessment and prescribing

This practical review article on penicillin allergy highlights that penicillin allergies are not always lifelong. Approximately 50% are lost over five years. A reaction to penicillin during a childhood infection is unlikely to be a true allergy. Only 1–2% of patients with a confirmed penicillin allergy have an allergy to cephalosporins.

Aust Prescr 2019;42:192-9.

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