(1/14307) Clindamycin plus gentamicin as expectant therapy for presumed mixed infections.

The prevalence of obligate anaerobes was studied prospectively in 60 patients with severe sepsis of intra-abdominal, soft tissue, female genital or oropulmonary origin. In addition, the efficacy of clindamycin (for anaerobes) plus gentamicin (for aerobic bacteria, especially coliforms) as initial empiric therapy in these patients was evaluated. Among 54 patients with cultural proof of infection, anaerobic pathogens were recovered from 52%. Nineteen patients had bacteremia; Bacteroides fragilis and Klebsiella pneumoniae were the most prevalent pathogens, being isolated in five patients each. Infection was eradicated in 56 of the 60 patients (93%). Mortality related to sepsis was 7% in the entire group, 16% in patients with bacteremia and 2% in patients without bacteremia. Eighty-five percent of aerobic isolates tested were susceptible in vitro to either gentamicin or clindamycin; 97% of anaerobic isolates were inhibited by 5 mug/ml of clindamycin.  (+info)

(2/14307) A comparison of three methods of setting prescribing budgets, using data derived from defined daily dose analyses of historic patterns of use.

BACKGROUND: Prescribing matters (particularly budget setting and research into prescribing variation between doctors) have been handicapped by the absence of credible measures of the volume of drugs prescribed. AIM: To use the defined daily dose (DDD) method to study variation in the volume and cost of drugs prescribed across the seven main British National Formulary (BNF) chapters with a view to comparing different methods of setting prescribing budgets. METHOD: Study of one year of prescribing statistics from all 129 general practices in Lothian, covering 808,059 patients: analyses of prescribing statistics for 1995 to define volume and cost/volume of prescribing for one year for 10 groups of practices defined by the age and deprivation status of their patients, for seven BNF chapters; creation of prescribing budgets for 1996 for each individual practice based on the use of target volume and cost statistics; comparison of 1996 DDD-based budgets with those set using the conventional historical approach; and comparison of DDD-based budgets with budgets set using a capitation-based formula derived from local cost/patient information. RESULTS: The volume of drugs prescribed was affected by the age structure of the practices in BNF Chapters 1 (gastrointestinal), 2 (cardiovascular), and 6 (endocrine), and by deprivation structure for BNF Chapters 3 (respiratory) and 4 (central nervous system). Costs per DDD in the major BNF chapters were largely independent of age, deprivation structure, or fundholding status. Capitation and DDD-based budgets were similar to each other, but both differed substantially from historic budgets. One practice in seven gained or lost more than 100,000 Pounds per annum using DDD or capitation budgets compared with historic budgets. The DDD-based budget, but not the capitation-based budget, can be used to set volume-specific prescribing targets. CONCLUSIONS: DDD-based and capitation-based prescribing budgets can be set using a simple explanatory model and generalizable methods. In this study, both differed substantially from historic budgets. DDD budgets could be created to accommodate new prescribing strategies and raised or lowered to reflect local intentions to alter overall prescribing volume or cost targets. We recommend that future work on setting budgets and researching prescribing variations should be based on DDD statistics.  (+info)

(3/14307) Intensive weekly chemotherapy is not effective in advanced pancreatic cancer patients: a report from the Italian Group for the Study of Digestive Tract Cancer (GISCAD).

Twenty-two patients, with locally advanced unresectable and/or metastatic pancreatic carcinoma, received weekly administration of cisplatin 40 mg m(-2), 5-fluorouracil 500 mg m(-2), epidoxorubicin 35 mg m(-2), 6S stereoisomer of leucovorin 250 mg m(-2) and glutathione 1.5 mg m(-2), supported by a daily administration of lenograstim at a dose of 5 microg kg(-1). Nineteen patients were men and three were women. Median age was 63 years (range 47-70). At study entry, pain was present in 15 out of 22 patients (68%) with a mean value of Scott-Huskisson scale of 27.6+/-23.8, whereas a weight loss >10% was present in 15 patients. After eight weekly treatments, three partial responses were achieved for a response rate of 13% (95% CI 0-26%), five patients had stable disease and 14 progressed on therapy. Pain was present in 9 out of 22 patients (40%) with a mean value of Scott-Huskisson scale of 12.3+/-18.4. Eight patients (36%) (three partial response and five stable disease) had a positive weight change. Toxicity was mild: WHO grade III or IV toxicity was recorded in terms of anaemia in 7 out of 188 cycles (3.7%), of neutropenia in 9 out of 188 cycles (4.7%) and of thrombocytopenia in 3 out of 188 cycles (1.5%). Median survival of all patients was 6 months. The outcome of this intensive chemotherapy regimen does not support its use in pancreatic cancer.  (+info)

(4/14307) Synergistic protective effects of antioxidant and nitric oxide synthase inhibitor in transient focal ischemia.

Both nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitors and free radical scavengers have been shown to protect brain tissue in ischemia-reperfusion injury. Nitric oxide and superoxide anion act via distinct mechanisms and react together to form the highly deleterious peroxynitrite. Therefore the authors examined the effects and the interaction between the NOS inhibitor, NG nitro-L-arginine (LNA) and the antioxidant/superoxide scavenger, di-tert-butyl-hydroxybenzoic acid (DtBHB) in the rat submitted to 2 hours of middle cerebral artery occlusion. Posttreatment was initiated 4 hours after the onset of ischemia and infarct volume was measured at 48 hours. The dose-related effect of LNA resulted in a bell-shaped curve: 15, 56, 65, and 33% reduction of total infarct for 0.03, 0.1, 0.3, and 1 mg/kg (intravenously [IV]) respectively and 11% increase in infarct volume for 3 mg/kg (IV). Whereas DtBHB (20 mg/kg; intraperitoneally [IP]) was ineffective, the dose of 60 mg/kg produced 65% protection in infarct volume. The combination of a subthreshold dose of LNA (0.03 mg/kg; IV) and DtBHB (20 mg/kg; IP) resulted in significant reduction (49%) in infarct volume. These results show that LNA and DtBHB act synergistically to provide a consistent neuroprotection against ischemic injury when administered 4 hours after ischemia. This suggests that nitric oxide and free radicals are involved and interact in synergy in ischemia-reperfusion injury.  (+info)

(5/14307) Beta2-adrenoceptor polymorphism and bronchoprotective sensitivity with regular short- and long-acting beta2-agonist therapy.

The aim of the present study was to investigate bronchoprotective sensitivity in patients receiving regular treatment with short- and long-acting beta2-agonists and to evaluate any possible association with genetic polymorphism. Thirty-eight patients with stable mild to moderate asthma and receiving inhaled corticosteroids were randomized in a parallel group, double-blind, double-dummy fashion to receive 2 weeks of treatment with either formoterol (12 microg once daily, 6 microg twice daily or 24 microg twice daily) or terbutaline (500 microg four times daily). Bronchoprotection against methacholine challenge (as a provocative dose to produce a 20% fall in forced expiratory volume in 1.0 s: PD20) was measured at baseline (unprotected) after an initial 1 week run-in without beta2-agonist, and at 1 h after the first and last doses of each treatment. The PD20 values were log-transformed and calculated as change from baseline. Percentage desensitization of log PD20 for first- versus last-dose bronchoprotection was calculated and analysed according to effects of treatment and beta2-adrenoceptor polymorphism at codon 16 or 27. The mean degree of desensitization for bronchoprotection was comparable with all four treatments and there were no significant differences in absolute PD20 values after 2 weeks of chronic dosing. The PD20 values were (as microg of methacholine, geometric means+/-S. E.M.): formoterol, 12 microg once daily, 99+/-42 microg; formoterol, 6 microg twice daily, 107+/-44 microg; formoterol, 24 microg twice daily, 108+/-45 microg; terbutaline, 500 microg four times daily, 88+/-37 microg. All patients receiving formoterol, 24 microg twice daily, exhibited a loss of protection greater than 30% which was unrelated to polymorphism at codon 16 or 27. For codon 16, the use of lower doses of formoterol (12 microg once daily or 6 microg twice daily) showed wider variability in the propensity for protection loss in patients who were heterozygous, in contrast to a more uniform protection loss seen with homozygous glycine patients. The amount of protection loss was not significantly related to polymorphism at codon 16 or 27, expressed as values (mean+/-S.E.M.) for percentage desensitization according to each genotype (pooled treatments): Gly-16, 66+/-11%; Het-16, 53+/-8%; Arg-16, 69+/-18%; Glu-27, 68+/-12%; Het-27, 58+/-8%; Gln-27, 52+/-12%. The results of this preliminary study showed that bronchoprotective desensitization occurred readily in response to short- or long-acting beta2-agonist exposure irrespective of beta2-adrenoceptor polymorphism at codon 16 or 27. Further studies with larger patient numbers are required to further evaluate the effects of polymorphisms with lower doses of regular formoterol.  (+info)

(6/14307) Warfarin therapy: evolving strategies in anticoagulation.

Warfarin is the oral anticoagulant most frequently used to control and prevent thromboembolic disorders. Prescribing the dose that both avoids hemorrhagic complications and achieves sufficient suppression of thrombosis requires a thorough understanding of the drug's unique pharmacology. Warfarin has a complex dose-response relationship that makes safe and effective use a challenge. For most indications, the dose is adjusted to maintain the patient's International Normalized Ratio (INR) at 2 to 3. Because of the delay in factor II (prothrombin) suppression, heparin is administered concurrently for four to five days to prevent thrombus propagation. Loading doses of warfarin are not warranted and may result in bleeding complications. Interactions with other drugs must be considered, and therapy in elderly patients requires careful management. Current dosing recommendations are reviewed, and practical guidelines for the optimal use of warfarin are provided.  (+info)

(7/14307) Protective alterations in phase 1 and 2 metabolism of aflatoxin B1 by oltipraz in residents of Qidong, People's Republic of China.

BACKGROUND: Residents of Qidong, People's Republic of China, are at high risk for development of hepatocellular carcinoma, in part due to consumption of foods contaminated with aflatoxins, which require metabolic activation to become carcinogenic. In a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind phase IIa chemoprevention trial, we tested oltipraz, an antischistosomal drug that has been shown to be a potent and effective inhibitor of aflatoxin-induced hepatocarcinogenesis in animal models. METHODS: In 1995, 234 adults from Qidong were enrolled. Healthy eligible individuals were randomly assigned to receive by mouth 125 mg oltipraz daily, 500 mg oltipraz weekly, or a placebo. Sequential immunoaffinity chromatography and liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry or to fluorescence detection were used to identify and quantify phase 1 and phase 2 metabolites of aflatoxin B1 in the urine of study participants. Reported P values are two-sided. RESULTS: One month of weekly administration of 500 mg oltipraz led to a 51% decrease in median levels of the phase 1 metabolite aflatoxin M1 excreted in urine compared with administration of a placebo (P = .030), but it had no effect on levels of a phase 2 metabolite, aflatoxin-mercapturic acid (P = .871). By contrast, daily intervention with 125 mg oltipraz led to a 2.6-fold increase in median aflatoxin-mercapturic acid excretion (P = .017) but had no effect on excreted aflatoxin M1 levels (P = .682). CONCLUSIONS: Intermittent, high-dose oltipraz inhibited phase 1 activation of aflatoxins, and sustained low-dose oltipraz increased phase 2 conjugation of aflatoxin, yielding higher levels of aflatoxin-mercapturic acid. While both mechanisms can contribute to protection, this study highlights the feasibility of inducing phase 2 enzymes as a chemopreventive strategy in humans.  (+info)

(8/14307) Secondary glioblastoma remarkably reduced by steroid administration after anaplastic transformation from gliomatosis cerebri--case report.

A 45-year-old female presented with gliomatosis cerebri manifesting as hemiballismus-like involuntary movement in the arm, motor weakness in the leg, and hypesthesia in her left side. Computed tomography showed only diffuse swelling of the right cerebral hemisphere, but T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging revealed a diffuse lesion spreading from the right thalamus to the temporal, parietal, and occipital lobes on the same side. No abnormal enhancement was recognized. Cerebral angiography showed no specific finding. A right occipital lobectomy was performed to confirm the diagnosis of gliomatosis cerebri. Anaplastic transformation was recognized 5 months later. The disease did not resolve with radiation or interferon administration, but steroid therapy achieved remarkably effective tumor regression. The patient died due to pneumonia. Autopsy showed the features of diffuse glioblastoma. Steroid therapy may be an effective treatment for gliomatosis cerebri before the terminal stage.  (+info)