British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
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Patients with a single illness who take many drugs have an increased risk of being admitted to hospital, but for patients with multiple conditions, taking many medicines is now associated with a near-normal risk of admission. This is the key finding of work published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. Doctors call the situation where people take many drugs ‘polypharmacy’, a state of affairs that is becoming increasingly common in part because we have more elderly people and also a rising number of people are being diagnosed with multiple health conditions.
The drug erythropoietin, often called EPO, is banned from sports because it is believed to enhance an athlete’s performance and give people who use it an unfair advantage over unenhanced competitors. However a new systemic review of existing research, published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, reveals that there is no scientific evidence that it does enhance performance, but there is evidence that using it in sport could place a user’s health and life at risk.
Drugs prescribed to treat anxiety, depression and insomnia may increase patients’ risk of being involved in motor vehicle accidents, according to a recent study, published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. Based on the findings, the researchers suggested doctors should consider advising patients not to drive while taking these drugs.
Use of selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants during pregnancy appears to be linked with increased risk of pregnancy induced high blood pressure (“hypertension”), but a causal link has not been established.
Nursing home residents with dementia who use average doses of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are three times more likely to have an injurious fall than similar people who don’t use these drugs. The association can be seen in people who use low doses of SSRIs and the risk increases as people take higher doses. The results are published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.
Repeatedly taking slightly too much paracetamol over time can cause a dangerous overdose that is difficult to spot, but puts the person at danger of dying. Patients may not come to hospital reporting the overdose, but because they feel unwell. This clinical situation needs to be recognized and treated rapidly because these patients are at even greater danger than people who take single overdoses.
New Hi-tech Survey Accelerates Collection of Vaccination Data and Adds to Evidence for Safety of 2009-10 Swine Flu Vaccination
New technology now makes it possible to collect ‘near real-time’ data about whether people are having any side effects from vaccination. By studying people who received the 2009-10 swine flu vaccination in Scotland, researchers showed that this rapid reporting can add another layer of safety to future vaccination campaigns. In addition, the data collected revealed no significant safety issues in patients exposed to the vaccine. The project’s report has just been published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.
Many of the prescriptions issued by GPs for paracetamol either give less than recommended doses to older children or exceed recommended doses in young children.
A study of medical records in Hong Kong revealed 66 cases where people were suspected to have been poisoned by a “natural” slimming therapy. In eight cases the people became severely ill, and in one case the person died. The study is published today in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.
'Get Randomised' - a public campaign to highlight the importance of randomised clinical trials - boosted awareness and knowledge of clinical trials around Scotland, a new study has shown.
Don’t Block Folic Acid in Early Pregnancy: Medications That Block Folic Acid Are Associated With Increased Abnormalities
Using medication that reduces or blocks the actions of folic acid during the first trimester of pregnancy (weeks 1-12), increases the risk that the growing baby will develop abnormalities.
Research news from the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology