Research Roundup

Debbie Rigby rounds up the latest in research news

Effectiveness of Curcuma longa Extract for the Treatment of Symptoms and Effusion–Synovitis of Knee Osteoarthritis

A single-center study with 70 patients from southern Tasmania has demonstrated that Curcuma longa extract is more effective than placebo for knee pain but did not affect knee effusion–synovitis or cartilage composition. 2 capsules of Curcuma longa extract or matched placebo were taken per day for 12 weeks.

Annals of Internal Medicine 2020.

What matters most to patients when choosing treatment for mild–moderate asthma?

Sub-group analysis of the PRACTICAL study, which compared as-needed budesonide-formoterol to maintenance low dose budesonide plus as-needed terbutaline reliever therapy, shows patients rank no shortness of breath as the most important attribute. This was followed by low risk of asthma flare-ups. Treatment regimen was ranked higher by participants who preferred as-needed treatment than by participants who preferred maintenance treatment.

Thorax 2020;75:842–848.

Interventions for improving medication‐taking ability and adherence in older adults prescribed multiple medications

A Cochrane Review of 50 studies has concluded that behavioural only or mixed educational and behavioural interventions may improve the proportion of people who satisfactorily adhere to their prescribed medications. Educational only interventions have uncertain impact.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2020, Issue 5.

Prescribing medicines to older people

Ageing is associated with several changes in human organs, which result in altered medication pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. Ageing is also associated with changes in human body functions, such as impaired vision, hearing, swallowing, motor and cognitive functions, which can affect the adequate intake and administration of drugs. As a consequence, older people, and especially patients older than 75 years, are the main users of many drugs and they frequently use 5 drugs or more long‐term.

British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 2020;86:1921–1930.

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