Research roundup

Debbie Rigby presents her weekly round-up of the latest clinical research relevant to community pharmacy

Multicenter Observational Study of Incretin-based Drugs and Heart Failure

A large cohort study of nearly 1.5 million patients with diabetes has shown the rate of hospitalisation for heart failure does not increase with the use of incretin-based drugs as compared with oral antidiabetic-drug combinations among patients with a history of heart failure (HR 0.86) or among those without a history of heart failure (HR 0.82). The results were similar for DPP-4 inhibitors and GLP-1 analogues.

N Engl J Med 2016; 374:1145-54.


Effect of humour therapy on psychotropic medication use in nursing homes

The aim of this study was to assess the effect of Play Up humour therapy on antipsychotic, benzodiazepine and antidepressant use in Australian nursing homes. There were significant reductions from before to after the Play Up program in the prevalence of any psychotropic medication use, antipsychotic use and benzodiazepine use. Mean daily dose equivalents of pro re nata (PRN) antipsychotics and PRN benzodiazepines significantly reduced over time.

Australasian Journal on Ageing. Article first published online: 17 MAR 2016


Antidepressant use and risk of cardiovascular outcomes in people aged 20 to 64

A cohort study using UK primary care database found no evidence that SSRIs are associated with an increased risk of arrhythmia or stroke/transient ischaemic attack in people diagnosed with depression. Fluoxetine was associated with a significantly reduced risk of arrhythmia (0.74, 0.59 to 0.92) over five years, but citalopram was not significantly associated with risk of arrhythmia even at high doses (1.11, 0.72 to 1.71 for doses ≥40 mg/day).

BMJ 2016;352:i1350


Polypharmacy and potentially inappropriate prescriptions identified by Beers and STOPP criteria in co-morbid older patients at hospital discharge

A cross-sectional study carried out in an older patients’ population (≥65 years old) discharged from a university hospital in Spain has shown a significant number of potentially inappropriate prescriptions are prescribed. Beers criteria identified potentially inappropriate prescriptions 22.9% of the patients, whereas according to STOPP criteria, over one-third of patients (38.5%) of the patients were prescribed a potentially inappropriate medicine. The authors recommend a medication review at hospital discharge for patients taking more than six drugs.

Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 2016;22:189–193.


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