Research Roundup


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Debbie Rigby takes a look at the latest in research news

Efficacy and safety of antidepressants for the treatment of back pain and osteoarthritis

A systematic review and meta-analysis of 33 trials has concluded that antidepressants have no clinically important effect on pain and disability in back pain and osteoarthritis. TCAs and SNRIs might be effective for sciatica. The editorial suggests that drug treatments are largely ineffective for back pain and osteoarthritis and have the potential for serious harm.

BMJ 2021;372:m4825.

Editorial

Medscape summary

 

Impact of pharmacist‐led medication therapy management in ambulatory elderly patients with chronic diseases

Pharmacist‐led medication therapy management services play an important role in improving health outcomes and saving medication cost. In this study pharmacists identified 2.15 drug-related problems per patient and improved clinical outcomes (blood pressure and lipids level). The most frequently recommended intervention was changing the drug (48.76%) and over 90% of recommendations were implemented.

British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, first published 20 January 2021.

 

Testosterone replacement and improved memory

Testosterone therapy does not appear to improve cognition in older men with low testosterone and memory impairment. Measures of cognition included in the review studies included MMSE and ADAS Cog score, attention, delayed paragraph recall, spatial abilities, visual memory, verbal memory, language fluency, or working-memory tasks.

Canadian Family Physician January 2021;67(1):e9.

 

Identifying anticholinergic burden in frail older people

The authors of this paper describe how their AC‐FRAIL tool can assist practices to identify frail older people who are at greatest risk from anticholinergic burden. Anticholinergic activity of many medicines can lead to a variety of commonly experienced side‐effects (dry mouth, sedation, constipation, blurred vision), which can be debilitating in frail older people. Cumulative effects are associated with physical dysfunction, cognitive decline, hospitalisation and mortality.

Prescriber, 15 December 2020.

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