The 26th Congress of the Scandinavian Society of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine took place in the state-of-the art Tromso University Hospital. There were over 500 participants, and approximately 300 oral and poster presentations highlighted the latest progress in diverse areas. Much interest focused on activated protein C (APC) and other ways forward in sepsis treatment, pain management, novel markers of neurotrauma and antioxidants in bypass surgery. The meeting continues to be the leading anaesthesiology and intensive care conference in the region.
Abdominal symptoms are frequent in the normal elderly population, but only a minority contact doctors. The present study was performed to assess the impact of abdominal symptoms on primary health care and medicine consumption and, in addition, to describe factors that relate to resource consumption. A postal questionnaire was mailed to a random cohort of 859 Danish people at the age of 75. Seventy-nine percent returned the questionnaire. A total of 31% of the men and 42% of the women had experienced at least one abdominal symptom within the past year. Among these 25% had visited a doctor and a little less had taken medicine. The total expenses used on primary health care and medicine were 22,000 U.S. Dollars per 1000 persons. Factors related to visiting a doctor were not only the presence of symptoms but also the subject's concept of the symptom as a health problem. As a consequence, efforts to control expenses should also focus on why some subjects consider their symptoms a health-problem while others do not.
Under-treatment of pain is frequently reported, especially among seniors, with chronic non-cancer pain most likely to be under-treated. Legislation regarding the prescribing/dispensing of opioid analgesics (including multiple prescription programs [MPP]) may impede access to needed analgesics.
To describe access and intensity of use of analgesics among older Manitobans by health region.
A cross-sectional study of non-Aboriginal non-institutionalized Manitoba residents over 65 years of age during April 1, 2002 to March 31, 2003 was conducted using the Pharmaceutical Claims data and the Cancer Registry from the province of Manitoba. Access to analgesics (users/1000/Yr) and intensity of use (using defined daily dose [DDD] methodology) were calculated for non-opioid analgesics, opioids, and multiple-prescription-program opioids [MPP-opioids]. Usage was categorized by age, gender, and stratified by cancer diagnosis. Age-sex standardized rates of prevalence and intensity are reported for the eleven health regions of Manitoba.
Thirty-four percent of older Manitobans accessed analgesics during the study period. Female gender, increasing age, and a cancer diagnosis were associated with greater access and intensity of use of all classes of analgesics. Age-sex standardized access and intensity measures revealed the highest overall analgesic use in the most rural / remote regions of the province. However, these same regions had the lowest use of opioids, and MPP-opioids among residents lacking a cancer diagnosis.
This population-based study of analgesic use suggests that there may be variations in use of opioids and other analgesics depending on an urban or rural residence. The impact of programs such as the MPP program requires further study to describe its impact on analgesic use.
The BC Cancer Agency sees 128,172 patients per year, of which 2,186 are referred to the Patient Symptom Management/Palliative Care (PSMPC) clinics for tertiary symptom management. Other than at the PSMPC clinics, screening for symptom distress is extremely variable because there is no systematic assessment protocol. In a recent audit of patients coming to the Cancer Agency, approximately 64% of patients reported experiencing a moderate to severe level of symptom distress. Of the total patients in the audit (n = 1,147), only 18 were seen by the PSMPC teams and it is unclear whether or not the remaining patients had their symptoms attended to by a health professional at the BCCA.The tool which the BCCA has chosen for screening and assessment is the Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESAS), which was developed by Dr. Eduardo Bruera. ESAS is a nine-item, self-reporting, visual analogue instrument used to measure pain and other symptoms using numeric ratings. Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) has developed an electronic means whereby patients' ESAS scores are entered and housed in an electronic health record and then used for triage. BCCA is in partnership with CCO to adapt this system for use in BC.
To assess the frequency of adverse drug reaction in patients with fibromyalgia in relation to medications prescribed for this condition. To evaluate the potential role of the P450IID6 phenotype in the pathogenesis of these adverse drug reactions.
Thirty-five patients with fibromyalgia were assessed using a structured questionnaire with demographic and clinical data and perceived adverse drug reactions. A sample of 60 patients with rheumatoid arthritis and 62 patients with localized back pain served as controls. The P450IID6 phenotype was determined for each of the fibromyalgia patients.
Overall, 141 patients had used NSAID and 79 (56%) of them reported adverse effects. Antidepressant drugs were used by 68 patients and 35 (51%) patients had adverse effects. Muscle relaxant drugs were used by 48 patients and 15 (31%) of them reported side effects. Analgesics were used by 122 patients and 22 (18%) had experienced adverse effects. Statistical differences in the frequency of adverse effects were found with antidepressant drugs in the fibromyalgia group, compared with rheumatoid arthritis (p=0.01) and back pain (p=0.02). Four of the 35 patients (11.4%) had a metabolic ratio (M.R.) greater than 0.30 (log M.R.= -0.52) indicative of the poor metabolizers (PM) phenotype. M.R. varied from 0.005 (log M.R. = -2.30) to 4.99 (log M.R. = 0.70).
The problem of adverse drug reactions in fibromyalgia patients does not appear to correlate with the PM phenotype of the P450IID6 oxidative enzyme. It also is unlikely that altered xenobiotic detoxification attributable to this PM phenotype would have a significant role in the development of fibromyalgia.
The therapeutic use of cannabis and cannabis-based medicines raises safety concerns for patients, clinicians, policy-makers, insurers, researchers and regulators. Although the efficacy of cannabinoids is being increasingly demonstrated in randomized controlled trials, most safety information comes from studies of recreational use.
We performed a systematic review of safety studies of medical cannabinoids published over the past 40 years to create an evidence base for cannabis-related adverse events and to facilitate future cannabis research initiatives. We critically evaluated the quality of published studies with a view to identifying ways to improve future studies.
A total of 321 articles were eligible for evaluation. After excluding those that focused on recreational cannabis use, we included 31 studies (23 randomized controlled trials and 8 observational studies) of medical cannabis use in our analysis. In the 23 randomized controlled trials, the median duration of cannabinoid exposure was 2 weeks (range 8 hours to 12 months). A total of 4779 adverse events were reported among participants assigned to the intervention. Most (4615 [96.6%]) were not serious. Of the 164 serious adverse events, the most common was relapse of multiple sclerosis (21 events [12.8%]), vomiting (16 events [9.8%]) and urinary tract infection (15 events [9.1%]). The rate of nonserious adverse events was higher among participants assigned to medical cannabinoids than among controls (rate ratio [RR] 1.86, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.57-2.21); the rates of serious adverse events did not differ significantly between these 2 groups (RR 1.04, 95% CI 0.78-1.39). Dizziness was the most commonly reported nonserious adverse event (714 events [15.5%]) among people exposed to cannabinoids.
Short-term use of existing medical cannabinoids appeared to increase the risk of nonserious adverse events. The risks associated with long-term use were poorly characterized in published clinical trials and observational studies. High-quality trials of long-term exposure are required to further characterize safety issues related to the use of medical cannabinoids.
Using questionnaires, we analyzed associations between different pain variables (e.g., pain intensity) and age (20-65+ years) among 949 primary pain patients. Older patients (a) were more often divorced, were blue-collar workers, were less educated, and had greater difficulties with living expenses; (b) had pain of longer duration, more frequently and of more complexity, and felt more disabled; (c) consumed more painkillers, analgesics, sedatives, and other medications, and had received more pain treatments; and (d) had more health problems. Younger patients had more severe pain, were financially strained, and were more often unemployed. A multivariate regression analysis showed that high disability was more determined by older than young age. However, other factors (e.g., pain complexity) were also important. Thus, older and younger patients experienced their pain differently
OBJECTIVES: To perform a prospective, placebo-controlled study to examine the long-term efficacy of alfuzosin compared with placebo and standard therapy in patients with chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS), because alpha-blockers have been suggested for the treatment of CP/CPPS. METHODS: One hundred twenty consecutive men diagnosed with CP/CPPS were prospectively screened and then asked to participate in a prostatitis treatment trial. Patients who agreed to be randomized were subsequently randomized to alfuzosin 5 mg twice daily or placebo and patients who agreed to participate but not be randomized were entered into a control or standard (except alpha-blockers) therapy group. Patients were prospectively treated for 6 months and then followed up for an additional 6 months. The change from baseline in the total and domain scores of the validated Finnish version of the National Institutes of Health Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index (NIH-CPSI) was the primary outcome parameter for this study. RESULTS: Seventy subjects agreed to participate in the study. The data from 66 patients were available for evaluation (17 in the alfuzosin, 20 in the placebo, and 29 in the control/standard group). At the end of 6 months of active therapy, the alfuzosin group had had a statistically significant decrease in total NIH-CPSI score compared with the placebo and control/standard groups (9.9, 3.8, and 4.3 decrease, respectively, P = 0.01). A statistically significant improvement occurred in the pain score in the alfuzosin group at 6 months compared with the placebo and control/standard groups (P = 0.01), but not in the voiding or quality-of-life score among the three groups. Of the patients in the alfuzosin group, 65% had a greater than 33% improvement in the mean NIH-CPSI total score compared with 24% and 32% of the placebo and control/standard groups, respectively (P = 0.02). At 12 months (6 months after the alfuzosin/placebo treatment was discontinued), the symptom scores in all domains of the NIH-CPSI showed deterioration compared with original baseline score in the alfuzosin and placebo groups but not in the control/standard group (NIH-CPSI score 3.5, 0.1, and 5.6 points below baseline, respectively). Gastrointestinal symptoms and a decrease in ejaculate volume were noted by 1 and 4 patients, respectively, in the alfuzosin group. No patients dropped out of the study because of an adverse event. CONCLUSIONS: Six months of alfuzosin therapy for CP/CPPS is safe and well tolerated and results in a modest, but statistically significant, improvement in the NIH-CPSI, particularly in the pain domain, compared with placebo and standard/traditional treatment. The beneficial effect is only apparent after several months of treatment and disappears when treatment is discontinued.