SelfCare Focus 8.1

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.

Purchase habits, use of paracetamol, and information sources on a reregulated Swedish pharmacy market: A population-based study.

By: Hedenrud T and Hakonsen H.

Health Policy 2017; 121: 35-41.

Summary: A web-based panel with over 50,000 Swedish citizens provided feedback on analgesic usage. A majority reported use of paracetamol in the past three months, with purchases most often from pharmacies. The most common source of information was patient information leaflets. The results did not reveal any harmful paracetamol use.



Should we educate about the risks of medication overuse headache?

By: Lai JTF, Dereix JDC, Ganepola RP, Nightingale PG, Markey KA, Aveyard PN, Sinclair AJ

Journal of Headache and Pain 2014; 15 (1): article 10.

Summary: Medication-overuse headache (MOH) occurs via the regular use of certain headache medicines. Based on a survey of 485 people, 77% were unaware of the possibility of MOH resulting from analgesic use. Following education on the issue, 80% stated they would reduce analgesic consumption or seek medical advice.



Pharmacist-only trimethoprim: pharmacist satisfaction on their training and the impact on their practice.

By: Braund R, Henderson E, McNab E, Sarten R, Wallace E, Gauld N.

International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy 2016; 38: 1357-61.

Summary: In 2012, New Zealand became the first country to re-classify trimethoprim to allow pharmacist recommendations for women with cystitis. Interviews were conducted with 28 pharmacists who were trained to do so. The feedback was that the training was considered appropriate, as was the screening tool. Pharmacists who opted to suggest medical referral in some cases frustrated some women. Patients receiving the care appeared to appreciate the easier access to a pharmacy.



Experience with oral emergency contraception since the OTC switch in Germany.

By: Kiechle M and Neuenfeldt M.

Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics 2016; vol: 1-10.

Summary: In March 2015, levonorgestrel and ulipristal were de-regulated from prescription-only status in Germany. Since the OTC switch, demand for oral emergency contraception rose by almost 50%, especially on weekends. The age distribution of users did not change as a result of the legislation.



Treatment of uncomplicated cystitis: analysis of prescribing in New Zealand.

By: Gauld NJ, Zeng ISL, Ikram RB, Thomas MG, Buetow SA.

New Zealand Medical Journal 2016; 129: 55-63.

Summary: Women prescribed antibiotics by pharmacists for uncomplicated urinary tract infections were surveyed. Of 789 women returning a questionnaire, 17% had symptoms of cystitis without complicating factors. Most prescribing involved a first-line agent, but the authors concluded that norfloxacin use could be reduced from its current rate. Many prescriptions were for a dose or duration outside of recommended guidelines.



Adverse events associated with pediatric exposures to dextromethorphan.

By: Paul IM, Reynolds KM, Kauffman RE, Banner W, Bond GR, Palmer RB, Burnhan RI, Green JL.

Clinical Toxicology 2017; 55: 25-32.

Summary: The authors sought to characterize the adverse events associated with DM use in children under 12 years of age reported between 2008 and 2014. Among DM-only cases, 3% followed ingestion of a therapeutic dose, while 78% followed an overdose. No fatalities were identified. Adverse events were predominantly due to overdose, most commonly impacting the central and autonomic nervous systems.