SelfCare Focus 8.4

A selection of newly published papers on self-care from the worldwide literature

Every week, we will provide a brief summary and a link to the published abstract of newly published papers selected from the worldwide literature as being of particular interest to the SelfCare community.

Factors associated with efficacy of an ibuprofen/pseudoephedrine combination drug in pharmacy customers with common cold symptoms.

By: Klimek L, Schumacher H, Schütt T, Gräter H, Mueck T, Michel MC.

International Journal of Clinical Practice 2017; 71(2).

Summary: This study explored the factors affecting the efficacy of an OTC ibuprofen/pseudoephedrine combination for cold symptoms. Data was obtained via survey of 1770 pharmacy customers making a purchase. After the first dose, 1) ibuprofen-sensitive, 2) pseudoephedrine-responsive, 3) non-specific and 4) total symptoms were reduced by 60.0%, 46.3%, 45.4% and 52.8%, respectively. Two tablets at first dosing were more effective than one. Starting treatment later than day 2 of the cold was generally less effective. The authors concluded that the combination was dose-dependent and greatest when treatment started within the first 2days after onset of symptoms.



From prescription-only (Rx) to over-the-counter (OTC) status in Germany 2006-2015: pharmacological perspectives on regulatory decisions.

By: Barrenberg E, Garbe E.

European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 2017;73:901-10.

Summary: Little is known about the extent of switches from prescription-only (Rx) to OTC status in Europe and about the pharmacological properties of the switched substances. The objectives of this study were to provide an overview of the substances that were switched from Rx to OTC status in Germany between 2006 and 2015. Between 2006 and 2015, seven substances (almotriptan, omeprazole, benzydamine, ibuprofen/pseudoephedrine, racecadotril, ketotifen and levonorgestrel) were switched from Rx to OTC status in Germany. In all cases, the OTC status was restricted to certain indications, doses, pack sizes, or other limitations. Notwithstanding recommendations of the EU switch guide, the authors felt some of the switched substances might interact with commonly used drugs, potentially resulting in serious adverse drug reactions or have contraindications or warnings regarding substantial parts of the population.



Impact of dry eye disease on work productivity, and patients’ satisfaction with Over-The-Counter dry eye treatments.

By: Nichols KK, Bacharach J, Holland E, Kislan T, Shettle L, Lunacsek O, Lennert B, Burk C, Patel V.

Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science 2016; 57: 2975-82.

Summary: 158 symptomatic dry eye patients naive to prescription medication underwent assessment. On average, dry eye resulted in the loss of about 5 minutes of work time over 7 days. Almost 75% of patients used OTC dry eye medication. Levels of patient satisfaction with OTC medication (64.2%) and symptom relief from OTC (37.3%) were unaffected by administration frequency.



Attitudes in Australia on the upscheduling of over-the-counter codeine to a prescription-only medication.

By: McCoy J, Bruno R, Nielsen S.

Drug Alcohol Rev. 2017 Jun 8. doi: 10.1111/dar.12568. [Epub ahead of print].

Summary: Codeine was proposed for prescription-only status in Februrary 2018. Prior to this, feedback was sought (354 codeine consumers, 220 pharmacists, 120 GPs). Most consumers and pharmacists, and a third of GPs opposed such a move.



The use of conventional and complementary health services and self-prescribed treatments amongst young women with constipation: An Australian national cohort study.

By: Sibbritt D, Peng W, Chang S, Liang H, Adams J.

Digestive and Liver Disease 2016; 48: 1308-13.

Summary: A total of 8074 young women were surveyed. The prevalence of constipation was 18.5%. Only 4.5% sought help for their constipation.



Medication-related costs of rhinitis in Australia: a NostraData cross-sectional study of pharmacy purchases.

By: Smith P, Price D, Harvey R, Carney AS, Kritikos V, Bosnic-Anticevich SZ, Christian L, Skinner D, Carter V, Durieux AMS.

Journal of Asthma and Allergy 2017; 10: 153-61.

Summary: Pharmacy purchases of at least one prescription or OTC rhinitis treatment by patients between 2013 and 2014 were assessed. In total, 4,247,193 prescription and OTC therapies were purchased from 909 pharmacies over 24 months. Of the single-entities purchased, 73% were oral antihistamines and 15% were intranasal steroids.



A population-based study of risk perceptions of paracetamol use among Swedes-with a special focus on young adults.

By: Håkonsen H, Hedenrud T.

Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2017 Aug;26(8):992-997.

Summary: A web survey was conducted on 3120 persons. Most respondents reported use of paracetamol in the 3 months prior to the study. A total of 14.2% thought paracetamol was completely harmless to use, while 54.3% indicated use came with risks even when following the dosing instructions.



Use of Pharmacist Consultations for Nonprescription Laxatives in Japan: An Online Survey.

By: Shibata K, Matsumoto A, Nakagawa A, Akagawa K, Nakamura A, Yamamoto T, Kurata N.

Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin 2016; 39: 1767-73.

Summary: An online survey was conducted on 500 people. Consulting a pharmacist appeared to improve consumer awareness and made them more likely to use appropriate agents. Consulters were better able to identify side effects and take appropriate action when they did occur.