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.
SEASONALITY IN SALES OF NICOTINE REPLACEMENT THERAPIES: PATTERNS AND IMPLICATIONS FOR TOBACCO CONTROL.
By: S Chandra, JG Gitchell, S Shiffman-Saul.
Summary: Over the counter, nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) are the most widely used smoking cessation treatment. This study sheds light on the seasonality of sales of NRT. NRT sales show a strong seasonality pattern that is the opposite of the seasonality pattern for cigarette sales. These patterns are indicative of seasonal variations in quitting behavior.
BREAKING THE BARRIERS TO EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION ACCESS IN THE USA: THE TIME HAS COME.
By: ML Cremer, S Nichols, RJ Masch.
Summary: Levonorgestrel was approved as an over-the-counter medication for emergency contraception in the US in 2006, but barriers to access still exist. Several studies have shown that emergency contraception does not increase promiscuity nor decrease condom use, but these erroneous beliefs are still widely held. Myths and political controversy about emergency contraception have limited its access to adolescent girls, despite its demonstrated safety and effectiveness.
PUBLIC’S VIEWS ON MAKING DECISIONS ABOUT OVER-THE-COUNTER MEDICATION AND THEIR ATTITUDES TOWARDS EVIDENCE OF EFFECTIVENESS: A CROSS-SECTIONAL QUESTIONNAIRE STUDY.
By: LA Hanna, CM Hughes.
Summary: To explore factors which may influence consumers when making decisions in relation to over-the-counter (OTC) medication, data were collected from 1461 members of the public using a face-to-face interviewer-administered structured questionnaire in 10 shopping centres. Perceived effectiveness, familiarity with the name or brand and safety of the medicine influenced decisions when buying an OTC medicine. Almost all respondents reported that knowledge of effectiveness of OTC medicines was based on previous use. If there was no scientific evidence from drug trials to support effectiveness of a product, but it would not cause harm, two-thirds would still try the product. Over 70% ‘agreed/strongly agreed’ that people should be able to decide for themselves what OTC medicine they want, irrespective of scientific evidence. There was ambivalence regarding need for evidence of effectiveness when choosing an OTC medicine, with individual autonomy and safety taking precedence over evidence. Pharmacists should be aware that patients’ expectations in relation to OTC medicines may be in conflict with evidence-based practice.
SELF-MEDICATION OF MIGRAINE AND TENSION-TYPE HEADACHE: SUMMARY OF THE EVIDENCE-BASED RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE DEUTSCHE MIGRAENE UND KOPFSCHMERZGESELLSCHAFT (DMKG), THE DEUTSCHE GESELLSCHAFT FUER NEUROLOGIE (DGN), THE OESTERREICHISCHE KOPFSCHMERZGESELLSCHAFT (OEKSG) AND THE SCHWEIZERISCHE KOPFWEHGESELLSCHAFT (SKG).
By: G Haag, H Diener, A May, C Meyer.
Summary: The current evidence-based guideline on self-medication in migraine and tension-type headache of the German, Austrian and Swiss headache societies and the German Society of Neurology is addressed to physicians engaged in primary care as well as pharmacists and patients. The efficacy of the fixed-dose combination of acetaminophen, acetylsalicylic acid and caffeine and the monotherapies with ibuprofen or naratriptan or acetaminophen or phenazone are scientifically proven and recommended as first-line therapy. None of the substances used in self-medication in migraine prophylaxis can be seen as effective. Concerning self-medication in tension-type headache, fixed-dose combination of acetaminophen, acetylsalicylic acid and caffeine as well as the fixed combination of acetaminophen and caffeine as well as the monotherapies with ibuprofen or acetylsalicylic acid or diclofenac. The four scientific societies hope that this guideline will help to improve the treatment of headaches which largely is initiated by the patients themselves without any consultation with their physicians.
ORALLY DISINTEGRATING DOSAGE FORMS AND TASTE-MASKING TECHNOLOGIES; 2010.
By: D Douroumis.
Summary: In the last decade the development of orally disintegrating tablets (ODTs) and thin-film platforms has grown enormously in the field of pharmaceutical industry. A wide variety of new masking technologies combined with the aforementioned platforms have been developed in order to mask the taste of bitter active substances and achieve patient compliance. In this review, emerging taste-masking technologies applied to solid dosage form manufacturing are summarized. The unique features and principles of taste-masking approaches used with ODT platforms are discussed, including the advantages and limitations of each technology. A better understanding of these drug delivery approaches will help researchers to select the appropriate platform, or to develop innovative products with improved safety, compliance and clinical value.
PROBIOTICS AND HEALTH: AN EVIDENCE-BASED REVIEW.
By: P Aureli, L Capurso, AM Castellazzi et al.
Summary: The intestinal microbiota is an ecosystem formed by a variety of ecological niches, made of several bacterial species and a very large amount of strains. This review summarizes the current knowledge on probiotics and discusses both limitations and acquired evidence to support their use in preventive and therapeutic medicine.