Four types of corticosteroid inhaler devices are available in New Zealand for first-line treatment of asthma, including two aerosol systems [Autohaler (3M Healthcare Ltd, Loughborough, U.K.; 3M Pharmaceuticals (Australia Pty Ltd, Sydney, Australia) and MDI (Glaxo Wellcome PLC, Ware, U.K.)] and two dry powder systems [Diskhaler (Glaxo Wellcome) and Turbuhaler (Astra AB, Sodertalje, Sweden)]. Rates of asthma-related health care consumption and treatment outcomes associated with use of the different inhalers are unknown. In this retrospective survey, asthma-related primary health care consultation and prescription patterns were compared in a large general practice population for each corticosteroid inhaler device prescribed as first-line treatment. An electronic search of a computerized clinical database yielded the medical records of 5704 patients with physician-diagnosed asthma who were prescribed either the Autohaler, Diskhaler, MDI or Turbuhaler as their sole corticosteroid inhaler device in the previous 12 months. The mean daily inhaled corticosteroid dose was lowest for the Autohaler (569 micrograms day-1; 95% CI: 538-605), followed by the Diskhlaer (638 micrograms day-1; 95% CI: 609-670) and MDI (665 micrograms day-1; 95% CI: 638-673), and was highest for the Turbuhaler (990 micrograms day-1; 95% CI: 954-1029, P
INTRODUCTION: Early adjuvant dexamethasone treatment has been internationally recommended for adults with bacterial meningitis (BM) since 2002. We explored the local recommendations in Denmark concerning treatment with dexamethasone and antibiotics for BM. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A questionnaire was sent to all Danish departments of infectious diseases, paediatrics and internal medicine (n = 92) concerning their local treatment recommendations for BM in the period 2002-2004. RESULTS: The overall response rate was 79%: 100%, 100% and 72%, respectively, for the three departmental types. Early treatment of BM with dexamethasone was recommended in 5 of 5 (100%) departments of infectious diseases, in 13 of 17 (76%) departments of paediatrics and in 22 of 35 (63%) departments of internal medicine. Four, five, and nine different empirical antibiotic regimens were recommended in the departments of infectious diseases, paediatrics, and internal medicine, respectively. In this three-year period, six departments changed their empirical antibiotic regimen: three to a broader-spectrum regimen and three to a regimen with unchanged bacteriological coverage. CONCLUSION: A considerable number of departments of internal medicine (37%) did not include early dexamethasone treatment in their recommendations for BM, despite the international consensus to provide this adjunctive treatment when pneumococcal meningitis is suspected. In addition, a great variation in the recommended empirical antibiotic treatment was demonstrated in this geographically small area.
BACKGROUND: Oral corticosteroids and inhaled bronchodilators with or without antibiotics represent standard treatment of COPD exacerbations of moderate severity. Frequent courses of oral steroids may be a safety issue. We wanted to evaluate in an out-patient setting whether a 2-week course of inhaled budesonide/formoterol would be equally effective for treatment of acute COPD exacerbations as standard therapy in patients judged by the investigator not to require hospitalisation. METHODS: This was a double-blind, randomised, non-inferiority, parallel-group, multicentre study comparing two treatment strategies; two weeks' treatment with inhaled budesonide/formoterol (320/9 microg, qid) was compared with prednisolone (30 mg once daily) plus inhaled formoterol (9 microg bid) in patients with acute exacerbations of COPD attending a primary health care centre. Inclusion criteria were progressive dyspnoea for less than one week, FEV1 30-60% of predicted normal after acute treatment with a single dose of oral corticosteroid plus nebulised salbutamol/ipratropium bromide and no requirement for subsequent immediate hospitalisation, i.e the clinical status after the acute treatment allowed for sending the patient home.A total of 109 patients (mean age 67 years, 33 pack-years, mean FEV1 45% of predicted) were randomized to two weeks' double-blind treatment with budesonide/formoterol or prednisolone plus formoterol and subsequent open-label budesonide/formoterol (320/9 microg bid) for another 12 weeks. Change in FEV1 was the primary efficacy variable. Non-inferiority was predefined. RESULTS: Non-inferiority of budesonide/formoterol was proven because the lower limit of FEV1-change (97.5% CI) was above 90% of the efficacy of the alternative treatment. Symptoms, quality of life, treatment failures, need for reliever medication (and exacerbations during follow-up) did not differ between the groups. No safety concerns were identified. CONCLUSION: High dose budesonide/formoterol was as effective as prednisolone plus formoterol for the ambulatory treatment of acute exacerbations in non-hospitalized COPD patients. An early increase in budesonide/formoterol dose may therefore be tried before oral corticosteroids are used. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT00259779.
These clinical guidelines were developed by the Danish Pediatric Asthma Center in collaboration with the Danish Paediatric Society. Key messages in the guidelines are: 1) Inhaled steroids are the most effective preventive medication and are first choice in children with persistent symptoms. 2) There is rarely indication for more than low to moderate doses of inhaled steroids as preventive medication. 3) There is insufficient evidence for preventive medication in pre-school children with intermittent asthma; a trial of leukotriene-receptor-antagonists or inhaled steroids could be done.
Comment In: Ugeskr Laeger. 2013 Nov 11;175(46):2812-326495471
Comment In: Ugeskr Laeger. 2013 Nov 11;175(46):281226495470
STUDY DESIGN: A subgroup analysis of a prospective, randomized controlled trial was performed. OBJECTIVE: To describe the cost effectiveness of periradicular infiltration with steroid in subgroups of patients with sciatica. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: A recent trial on periradicular infiltration indicated that a methylprednisolone-bupivacaine combination had a short-term effect, as compared with that of saline. This report describes the efficacy and cost effectiveness of steroid in subgroups of patients with sciatic. METHODS: This study involved 160 patients with unilateral sciatica. Outcome assessments were leg pain (100-mm visual analog scale), disability on the Oswestry Low Back Disability Questionnaire, and the Nottingham Health Profile. Data on medical costs and sick leaves also were gathered. Patients were randomized for periradicular infiltration with either methylprednisolone-bupivacaine or saline. The adjusted between-group treatment differences at each follow-up assessment, the number of patients free of leg pain (responders, cutoff 75%), and efficacy by the area-under-the-curve method were calculated. For the cost-effectiveness estimate, the total costs were divided by the number of responders. The rate of operations in different subgroups was evaluated by Kaplan-Meier analysis. RESULTS: In the case of contained herniations, the steroid injection produced significant treatment effects and short-term efficacy in leg pain and in Nottingham Health Profile emotional reactions. For symptomatic lesions at L3-L4-L5, steroid was superior to saline for leg pain, disability, and straight leg raising in the short term. By 1 year, steroid seemed to have prevented operations for contained herniations, costing $12,666 less per responder in the steroid group (P
The role of long-acting ß-agonists (LABA) added to inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) in the management of asthma is extensively debated. We thought to assess the risk of asthma-related hospitalisation in individuals who regularly filled prescriptions for ICS+LABA compared to those who regularly filled prescriptions for ICS alone or LABA alone, and compared to those who did not regularly fill such medications.
Using administrative health databases of the province of British Columbia (BC), Canada, from 1997 to 2012, we conducted a nested case-control analysis of a cohort of asthma patients. Cases were defined as those who experienced asthma-related hospitalisation after the first year of their entry into the cohort. For each case, up to 20 controls were matched based on age, sex, date of cohort entry, and several measures of asthma severity. We categorised individuals as regularly exposed, irregularly exposed, or non-exposed to ICS alone, LABA alone, or ICS+LABA based on dispensation records in the past 12 months. The primary outcome measures were the rate ratio (RR) of the asthma-related hospitalisation among categories of regular exposure.
3319 cases were matched to 43 023 controls. The RR for regular dispensation of ICS+LABA was 1.14 (95% CI 0.93 to 1.41) compared with regular dispensation of ICS alone and 0.45 (95% CI 0.29 to 0.70) compared with regular dispensation of LABA alone. Those who regularly dispensed LABA had to dispense an ICS for at least three quarters of a year to reduce their risk to that of those who did not dispense LABA.
Regular dispensation of ICS+LABA was not associated with an increased risk of asthma-related hospitalisation compared with regular dispensation of ICS alone. Adherence to ICS in patients who regularly receive ICS+LABA seems to be an important factor in the prevention of adverse asthma-related outcomes.
The objective of this paper is to investigate drivers of cost and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) related to disease activity and fatigue among patients with systemic lupus erythematous (SLE). A questionnaire was sent to members of a patient organization with a self-reported diagnosis of SLE, requesting information on demographics and disease characteristics, medications, resource utilization, informal care, loss of productivity, fatigue and HRQoL in relation to SLE. Mean annual costs per patient were estimated from a societal perspective. HRQoL was measured through EQ-5D and fatigue was measured through a 10?cm VAS scale. Patient-reported disease activity was measured through the Systemic Lupus Activity Questionnaire (SLAQ) and corticosteroid dose. Drivers of costs and HRQoL were analyzed through regression analysis. A total of 339 patients out of 737 returned the questionnaire. Mean age was 55; 94% were female. The mean HRQoL measured through the five-item EQ-5D instrument was 0.64 and total costs were estimated at €22,594 (direct costs €7818; indirect costs €14,776). Disease activity, fatigue and corticosteroid doses had a statistically significant impact on costs and HRQoL. This study demonstrates that Swedish patients with SLE have low HRQoL and incur high societal costs and that are both associated with and most likely driven by disease activity, fatigue and corticosteroid use.
BACKGROUND: A major reason of the poor control of asthma is that patients fail to adhere to their treatment. The aim of the study was to identify factors affecting changes in asthma treatment adherence in an international cohort. METHODS: A follow-up study was carried out by means of a structured clinical interview in 971 subjects with asthma from 12 countries who participated in both the European Community Respiratory Health Survey: ECRHS-I (1990-94) and ECRHS-II (1998-2002). Subjects were considered adherent if they reported they normally took all the prescribed drugs. A logistic model was used to study the adjusted effect of the determinants. RESULTS: The net change in adherence to anti-asthmatic treatment per 10 years of follow-up was -2% (95% CI: -9.5, 5.5), 7.5% (-2.6, 17.6), 15.0% (6.6, 23.5) and 19.8% (4.1, 35.5), respectively, in Nordic, Mediterranean, Continental and extra-European areas. Among the 428 non-adherent subjects in ECRHS-I, having regular consultations with health care professionals was the strongest predictor of increased adherence (OR 3.32; 95% CI: 1.08-10.17). Among the 543 adherent subjects in ECRHS-I, using inhaled corticosteroids significantly predicted a persistence of adherence (OR 2.04; 95% CI: 1.11-3.75). No effect of gender, age, duration of the disease, smoking habit and educational level was observed. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings highlight the key role of doctors and nurses in educating and regularly reviewing the patients and support the efforts for an improvement of clinical communication.
OBJECTIVE: To study the cause of death pattern in patients with giant cell arteritis (GCA) or polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR), and to analyze the effect of the disease, or its therapy, on the risk of a cardiovascular event (CVE). METHODS: Patients with biopsy proven GCA or with PMR, whose condition was diagnosed between 1973 and 1979, were followed until December 31, 1995. The standardized mortality ratio (SMR) was estimated using data for the population of Västerbotten, Northern Sweden, as reference value. Information for sex, age at diagnosis, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) at diagnosis, corticosteroid therapy, comorbidity from diagnosis, and date and cause of death was collected. RESULTS: A total of 136 patients with GCA and 35 with PMR were identified. At the time of followup 114 patients with GCA and 25 with PMR were deceased. The overall mortality was significantly increased in the female patients, SMR = 133 (95% CI 110-162). Death due to cardiovascular disease (CVD) was significantly increased in both women and men, SMR = 149 (95% CI 118-189) and 158 (95% CI 112-224), respectively, and mainly due to ischemic heart disease. An excess mortality was found in women with the highest ESR, the highest prescribed dose of prednisolone at diagnosis, or a daily prednisolone dose of 10 mg or more one year after diagnosis. In multiple Cox regression analysis, male sex and hypertension significantly increased the risk of a CVE. CONCLUSION: Death due to CVD was increased in patients with GCA. Increased mortality was related to either the corticosteroid therapy itself or insufficient control of inflammation.