Research Roundup

Debbie Rigby takes a look at the latest in research news

Paracetamol for pain in adults

A nice up-to-date review of paracetamol. Key messages suggest the evidence for using paracetamol to treat chronic pain is insufficient; trial of paracetamol is reasonable in patients with mild or moderate acute pain from conditions such as migraine, headache, renal colic, and postpartum perineal pain; and, caution patients about possible adverse cardiovascular and gastrointestinal effects of paracetamol, the risk of overdose (>3 g/day), and adverse effects from long term use such as liver damage. Dose adjustment may be needed in frail older people and those weighing less than 50 kg.

BMJ 2019;367:l6693.


Probiotics for antibiotic-associated diarrhea in children

Two types of probiotics recommended to prevent pediatric antibiotic-associated diarrhea are Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and Saccharomyces boulardii. Although an optimal dose has yet to be established, higher doses in the range of 5 to 40 billion colony-forming units per day were reported to be the most efficacious in trials. The safety profile of probiotics is excellent in healthy children; however, rare serious adverse events have been documented in severely debilitated or immunocompromised children.

Canadian Family Physician 2020;66:37-9.


Interventions to Reduce Anticholinergic Burden in Adults Aged 65 and Older

A systematic review of 8 studies has confirmed that pharmacists are well placed to implement anticholinergic burden reduction interventions. Most interventions involved individual patient medication review followed by feedback to the prescriber. No study reported cost outcomes.

JAMDA 2020;21(2):172-180.e5


Zinc acetate lozenges for the treatment of the common cold

A small randomised-controlled trial (n=87) has shown no difference in efficacy between zinc acetate lozenges and placebo in treating the common cold. Zinc acetate lozenges contained 13 mg elemental zinc were used by people who contracted the common cold six times per day for 5 days after the first symptoms. There was no difference in recovery rate.

BMJ Open 2020;10:e031662.

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