Research Roundup

Debbie Rigby takes a look at the latest in research news

Current and future pharmacological agents for the treatment of back pain

This overview with expert opinion summarises the evidence for efficacy for medicines used in the treatment of low back pain, as well as highlighting the benefits of consider non-pharmacological options such as physical therapy and psychological treatments. Overall, the evidence for paracetamol, NSAIDs, muscle relaxants, gabapentinoids, antidepressants and opioids is weak, with a high risk for adverse events.

Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy, 2020.

Are current pharmacotherapeutic strategies effective in treating OCD?

First-line treatment for Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in adults and children include SSRIs and cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT). SSRIs and clomipramine are shown to be effective in many well-designed trials; however 40–60% of patients do not show satisfactory response. Venlafaxine may be a useful option in patients who do not respond to SSRIs. Augmentation with atypical antipsychotics is modestly effective.

Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy, 2020.

Tramadol for management of fibromyalgia pain and symptoms

Fibromyalgia is a heterogeneous condition that appears to be associated with physiological and biochemical disturbances of pain modulation, and that consequently affects numerous other facets of life. A systematic review of 4 RCTs shows that tramadol, alone or in combination with an antidepressant or analgesic, has a positive effect on pain. No improvement in depression and quality of sleep were observed.

Int J Clin Pract. 2020;74:e13455.

Apixaban versus Warfarin in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation and Advanced Chronic Kidney Disease

Compared with the general population, patients with advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD) have a >10-fold higher burden of atrial fibrillation. Data from the ARISTOTLE study shows apixaban caused less bleeding than warfarin among patients with AF and CrCl 25-30 mL/min.

Circulation, first published 12 March 2020.

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