Research Roundup

Debbie Rigby rounds up the latest in research news

Are glucosamine and chondroitin natural remedies for osteoarthritis?

Evidence from systematic reviews of glucosamine 15000mg/day and chondroitin 800-1200mg/day do not find any clinically meaningful pain reduction compared to placebo. In six systematic reviews of combined glucosamine and C chondroitin D versus placebo, only one RCT examined meaningful pain reduction and found the combined effect similar to that of the components alone. These studies were mostly conducted for knee osteoarthritis.

Canadian Family Physician 2021;67(2):111.


Association of Potent and Very Potent Topical Corticosteroids and the Risk of Osteoporosis and Major Osteoporotic Fractures

Potent or very potent topical corticosteroids are associated with increased risk of osteoporosis and major osteoporotic fracture with a dose-response association for cumulative use. Based on these findings, the authors suggest other corticosteroid-sparing therapeutic options for people requiring potent anti-inflammatory treatment on large body surfaces for prolonged periods to limit the risk of osteoporosis.

JAMA Dermatol. Published online January 20, 2021.



Anti‐IL‐5 therapies for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

A Cochrane review of six studies (5542 participants) has conclude that mepolizumab and benralizumab probably reduce the rate of moderate and severe exacerbations in the highly selected group of people who have both COPD and higher levels of blood eosinophils. Mepolizumab 100 mg reduces the rate of moderate or severe exacerbations by 19% in those with an eosinophil count of at least 150/μL. Benralizumab 100 mg reduces the rate of severe exacerbations requiring hospitalisation in those with an eosinophil count of at least 220/μL (RR 0.63).

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2020, Issue 12.


Statin treatment and muscle symptoms

This series of n-of-1 trials recruited participants who were considering stopping or had stopped their statin treatment because of muscle symptoms. There was no differences in the frequency or severity of muscle symptoms between the statin and control periods. Also, the researchers found no differences for the effect of muscle symptoms on aspects of daily life (general activity, mood, ability to walk, normal work, relationships with other people, sleep, and enjoyment of life) between the statin and control periods. Most people completing the trial planned to restart long term treatment with statins.


BMJ 2021;372:n135.

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