Buprenorphine (Subutex) is widely abused in Finland. A combination of buprenorphine plus naloxone (Suboxone) has been available since late 2004, permitting a comparison of the abuse of the two products among untreated intravenous (IV) users. A survey was distributed to attendees at a Helsinki needle exchange program over 2-weeks in April, 2005, At least 30% were returned anonymously. Survey variables included: years of prior IV opioid abuse, years of buprenorphine abuse, frequency, dosage, route of administration and reasons for use, concomitant IV abuse of other substances and amount paid on the street for both buprenorphine and buprenorphine+naloxone. Buprenorphine was the most frequently used IV drug for 73% of the respondents. More than 75% said they used IV buprenorphine to self-treat addiction or withdrawal. Most (68%) had tried the buprenorphine+naloxone combination IV, but 80% said they had a "bad" experience. Its street price was less than half that of buprenorphine alone. The buprenorphine+naloxone combination appears to be a feasible tool, along with easier access to addiction treatment, for decreasing IV abuse of buprenorphine.
In Denmark a new trend concerning the abuse of codeine has been observed. Danish drug abusers have discovered that codeine is easily separated from certain drugs containing acetylsalicylic acid and codeine. When separated the codeine can be used either orally or intravenously. Three different drugs combining acetylsalicylic acid and codeine are available in Denmark, but codeine is only easily separable from one of these. Applying the same procedure to the two other drugs produces unpredictable or unfavourable ratios of codeine to acetylsalicylic acid. In several countries, however, similar drugs combining acetylsalicylic acid and codeine are available. It is not possible from a list of constituents to predict how easily codeine can be separated from a particular drug. Therefore it is strongly recommended that relevant drugs are tested at local forensic laboratories. In case codeine is found to be very easily separated from a product appropriate action should be taken.
The validity of immunizations, made in due time in children aged up to 7 years in accordance with the approved immunization schedule, is analyzed in this work. The content of antibodies to diphtheria, tetanus and poliomyelitis antigens in children immunized in accordance with the old and new schedules has been studied. This study has revealed that the injection of adsorbed DPT vaccine to children aged 3-4 months induces fully valid immune response to all antigens under study. The level of measles and parotitis antibodies after the injections of measles and parotitis vaccines, introduced separately and simultaneously, has been measured. The simultaneous administration of these preparations did not decrease the levels of immunity to parotitis and measles.
OBJECTIVE: To describe the clinical expression of acute intermittent porphyria (AIP) in women, their use of exogenous sex hormones, and the effects on AIP. DESIGN: A retrospective population-based study. SUBJECTS: All women aged > or =18 years (n = 190) with DNA-diagnosed AIP in northern Sweden. RESULTS: A total of 166 women (87%) participated; 91 (55%) had manifest AIP. Severe attacks were reported by 82%; 39% reported recurrent premenstrual AIP attacks and 22% reported chronic AIP symptoms. Oral hormonal contraceptives had been used by 58% of all these women and by 50 with manifest AIP (57%). Twelve women (24%) associated oral contraceptives as precipitating AIP attacks; in nine cases their first attack. One woman experienced relief from AIP symptoms. On commencing their treatment, 72% of the women with manifest AIP had not yet suffered their first attack. Twenty-two women (25%) aged > or =45 years had used hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) at menopause to remedy climacteric symptoms (the percutaneous route was most frequently used); no AIP attack was precipitated. HRT to remedy vaginal dryness was used by 26 women (28%) aged > or =45 years without triggering an AIP attack. Miscarriages were more frequent in women with manifest AIP (50%) than in the latent group (30%, P = 0.014). CONCLUSIONS: About half of the women with AIP had used oral hormonal contraceptives. As 25% of women with manifest AIP reported attacks associated with such drugs, caution must still be recommended. Menopausal HRT only rarely affected the disorder. Miscarriage was more common amongst women with manifest AIP.
The correction of radiation-induced immunodeficiency and hematopoiesis depression in clinical setting (100 patients) and in experiments (160 animals) by peptide preparations of the thymus and bone marrow (thymalin, hemalin, thymogemine and synthetic thymalin analog thymogen) has been studied. Administration of the bone marrow and thymus recovery of damage to the thymus, bone marrow, spleen and lymph nodes, improved the function of circulating neutrophilic granulocytes. Thymalin was able to compensate for immune disturbances and reduce manifestations of asthenia.
BACKGROUND: Adjustable maintenance dosing with budesonide/formoterol in a single inhaler (Symbicort, AstraZeneca, Lund, Sweden) may provide a convenient means of maintaining asthma control with the minimum effective medication level. OBJECTIVES: To compare adjustable and fixed maintenance dosing regimens of budesonide/formoterol in asthma. METHODS: This was an open-label, randomized, parallel-group, multicentre, Canadian study of asthma patients (aged 12 years or older, postbronchodilator forced expiratory volume in 1 s 70% or greater of predicted normal). Following a one-month run-in on budesonide/formoterol (100/6 mg or 200/6 mg metered doses, two inhalations twice daily), 995 patients were randomly assigned either to continue on this fixed dosing regimen or to receive budesonide/formoterol adjustable dosing (step down to one inhalation twice daily if symptoms were controlled or temporarily step up to four inhalations twice daily for seven or 14 days if asthma worsened). The primary efficacy variable was the occurrence of exacerbations (requiring oral or inhaled corticosteroids, emergency department treatment, serious adverse events or added maintenance therapy because of asthma). RESULTS: With adjustable dosing, significantly fewer patients experienced exacerbations compared with fixed dosing (4.0% versus 8.9%, P=0.002; number needed to treat=21 [95% CI 13 to 59]). Patients required 36% fewer overall doses of budesonide/formoterol (2.5 versus 3.9 inhalations/day, P