Research Roundup

Debbie Rigby rounds up the latest in research news

Inhaled budesonide for COVID-19 in people at higher risk of adverse outcomes in the community

Interim analyses from the PRINCIPLE trial shows that inhaled budesonide reduces time to recovery by a median of 3 days in people with COVID-19 with risk factors for adverse outcomes. Participants included people aged ≥65 years, or ≥50 years with comorbidities, and unwell ≤14 days with suspected COVID-19 in the community. Participants were randomized to usual care, usual care plus inhaled budesonide (800µg twice daily for 14 days), or usual care plus other interventions.

medRxiv 2021.04.10.21254672



Epidemic Thunderstorm Asthma: Lessons Learned from the Storm Down-Under

This review on the 2016 Melbourne thunderstorm asthma event describes the clinical mechanism, global prevalence, and characteristics of those patients moderately or severely at risk of epidemic thunderstorm asthma. Approximately 80% of patients with thunderstorm asthma were observed to suffer from persistent asthmatic symptoms, 28% on a weekly basis, with an inability to adequately self-manage. 63% of patients with no prior history of asthma reported developing symptoms during the months after exposure to an epidemic thunderstorm event.

J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract 2021;9(4):15105.


Efficacy and Safety of Over-the-Counter Therapies for Chronic Constipation

A systematic review of 41 studies has concluded that there is good evidence to recommend polyethylene glycol or senna as first-line laxatives and moderate evidence supporting fiber supplements, fruit-based laxatives (kiwi, mango, prunes, and ficus), stimulant laxatives (bisacodyl and sodium picosulfate), and magnesium-based products. Diarrhea, nausea, bloating, and abdominal pain were common adverse events.

American Journal of Gastroenterology, first published March 17, 2021.


The CANBACK trial: a randomised, controlled clinical trial of oral cannabidiol for people presenting to the emergency department with acute low back pain

In a randomised, double blinded, placebo‐controlled clinical trial with 100 participants with acute, non‐traumatic low back pain, 400mg cannabidiol was not superior to placebo as an adjunct medication. Most participants received standard emergency department drug treatment for low back pain (1000 mg paracetamol and 400 mg ibuprofen). Mean pain scores and median length of stay were no different to placebo.

Med J Aust || doi: 10.5694/mja2.51014

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