Does over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapy improve smokers' life expectancy?
OBJECTIVE: To determine the public health benefits of making nicotine replacement therapy available without prescription, in terms of number of quitters and life expectancy. DESIGN: A decision-analytic model was developed to compare the policy of over-the-counter (OTC) availability of nicotine replacement therapy with that of prescription ([symbol: see text]) availability for the adult smoking population in the United States. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Long-term (six-month) quit rates, life expectancy, and smoking attributable mortality (SAM) rates. RESULTS: OTC availability of nicotine replacement therapy would result in 91,151 additional successful quitters over a six-month period, and a cumulative total of approximately 1.7 million additional quitters over 25 years. All-cause SAM would decrease by 348 deaths per year and 2940 deaths per year at six months and five years, respectively. Relative to [symbol: see text] nicotine replacement therapy availability, OTC availability would result in an average gain in life expectancy across the entire adult smoking population of 0.196 years per smoker. In sensitivity analyses, the benefits of OTC availability were evident across a wide range of changes in baseline parameters. CONCLUSIONS: Compared with [symbol: see text] availability of nicotine replacement therapy, OTC availability would result in more successful quitters, fewer smoking-attributable deaths, and increased life expectancy for current smokers. (+info)
Sales practices of patent medicine sellers in Nigeria.
A survey was carried out among patent medicine dealers to evaluate their practices that militate against laws governing prescriptions-only medicines in Nigeria. Questionnaires were distributed to 46 patent medicine dealers and later collected from them on appointment. Analysis of the results showed that all the patent medicine dealers were aware of the law governing the sale of prescription drugs in Nigeria. Seventy-five per cent of them stock such drugs. Patent medicine dealers obtain their drugs largely from sales representative of pharmaceutical companies as well as from industries. Inappropriate use of sales boys and girls in patent medicine stores and defective government policies were all investigated. (+info)
A double-blind, placebo-controlled study of the efficacy and safety of non-prescription ranitidine 75 mg in the prevention of meal-induced heartburn.
BACKGROUND: Ranitidine 75 mg (Zantac 75) has been shown to be effective for the treatment of pre-existing heartburn symptoms. AIM: To compare the efficacy of dosing ranitidine 75 mg or placebo 30 min prior to a proven heartburn-provoking meal in completely preventing or reducing subsequent heartburn symptoms. METHODS: A randomized, double-blind, parallel methodology was used at nine investigative centres. Following a screening visit, patients ate a standard test meal consisting of chili, chips and a soft drink on two occasions. On the first occasion, patients received single-blind placebo 30 min before the meal. This meal was used to qualify patients and to ensure the onset of a minimum level of heartburn. Patients who qualified were randomized (n = 284) to receive double-blind ranitidine 75 mg or placebo 30 min before a second test meal administered 4-14 days later at the treatment visit. Patients recorded whether heartburn was present and rated heartburn severity by completing visual analogue scales at 15-min intervals over the 4. 5 h meal evaluation periods. RESULTS: Statistically significant differences favouring ranitidine 75 mg were determined for complete prevention of heartburn (P < 0.006), heartburn severity area under the curve (P < 0.001), a clinical success end-point (P < 0.001), and all other end-points (P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: These data clearly demonstrate that ranitidine 75 mg is effective in completely preventing or decreasing heartburn when administered 30 min prior to a provocative meal. (+info)
An evaluation of increasing doses of ranitidine for treatment of heartburn.
BACKGROUND: This was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicentre, parallel group, dose-ranging trial of ranitidine tablets for relief of episodic heartburn. Adult out-patients who reported heartburn relieved by antacids at least seven times per week were eligible. METHODS: Patients who successfully completed a 1-week single-blind placebo run-in phase and who did not achieve adequate relief in more than 50% of heartburn episodes were randomized to a 1-week, double-blind treatment phase during which they received ranitidine doses of 25, 75 or 125 mg, or placebo. RESULTS: Of 577 patients randomized, 566 had at least one evaluable heartburn episode and were included in the intention-to-treat analysis. All three ranitidine doses were statistically significantly superior to placebo in providing overall episodic heartburn relief for the first episode (P < 0.002), last episode (P+info)
Gastrointestinal safety and tolerance of ibuprofen at maximum over-the-counter dose.
BACKGROUND: Delineation of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) gastrointestinal toxicity has largely depended on retrospective epidemiologic studies which demonstrate that lower doses of NSAIDs pose a lower risk of gastrointestinal toxicity. Ibuprofen, a propionic acid NSAID, has, in most such studies, exhibited a favourable profile in terms of gastrointestinal bleeding. Since 1984, ibuprofen has been available as a non-prescription analgesic/antipyretic with a limit of 1200 mg/day for 10 days of continuous use. Trials and spontaneously reported adverse experiences suggest that gastrointestinal symptoms and bleeding are rare. METHODS: This study prospectively evaluated the gastrointestinal tolerability, as compared to placebo, of the maximum non-prescription dose and duration of ibuprofen use in healthy subjects representative of a non-prescription analgesic user population. RESULTS: Gastrointestinal adverse experiences were similar in the placebo and ibuprofen groups (67 out of 413, 16% with placebo vs. 161 out of 833, 19% with ibuprofen). There was no difference between the two groups in the proportion discontinuing due to a gastrointestinal event. Gastrointestinal adverse experiences reported by >/= 1% of subjects were: dyspepsia, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhoea, flatulence, and constipation. Seventeen (1.4%) subjects had positive occult blood tests: their frequency was comparable between treatments. CONCLUSIONS: When used as directed to treat episodic pain, non-prescription ibuprofen at the maximum dose of 1200 mg/day for 10 days, is well-tolerated. (+info)
Systematic review of topical treatments for fungal infections of the skin and nails of the feet.
OBJECTIVE: To identify and synthesise the evidence for efficacy and cost effectiveness of topical treatments for superficial fungal infections of the skin and nails of the feet. DESIGN: Systematic review. INTERVENTIONS: Topical treatments for superficial fungal infections. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Cure confirmed by culture and microscopy for skin and by culture for nails in patients with clinically diagnosed fungal infections. RESULTS: Of 126 trials identified in 121 papers, 72 (57.1%) met the inclusion criteria. Placebo controlled trials yielded pooled relative risks of failure to cure skin infections: allylamines (0.30, 95% confidence interval 0.24 to 0.38); azoles (0.54, 0.42 to 0.68); undecenoic acid (0.28, 0. 11 to 0.74); and tolnaftate (0.46, 0.17 to 1.22). Although meta-analysis of 11 trials comparing allylamines and azoles showed a relative risk of failure to cure of 0.88 (0.78 to 0.99) in favour of allylamines, there was evidence of language bias. Seven reports in English favoured allylamines (0.79, 0.69 to 0.91), but four reports in foreign languages showed no difference between the two drugs (1. 01, 0.90 to 1.13). Neither trial of nail infections showed significant differences between alternative topical treatments. CONCLUSIONS: Allylamines, azoles, and undecenoic acid were efficacious in placebo controlled trials. There are sufficient comparative trials to judge relative efficacy only between allylamines and azoles. Allylamines cure slightly more infections than azoles but are much more expensive than azoles. The most cost effective strategy is first to treat with azoles or undecenoic acid and to use allylamines only if that fails. (+info)
Changing home treatment of childhood fevers by training shop keepers in rural Kenya.
BACKGROUND: Malaria control in Africa relies primarily on early effective treatment for clinical disease, but most early treatments for fever occur through self-medication with shop-bought drugs. Lack of information to community members on over-the-counter drug use has led to widespread ineffective treatment of fevers, increased risks of drug toxicity and accelerating drug resistance. We examined the feasibility and measured the likely impact of training shop keepers in rural Africa on community drug use. METHODS: In a rural area of coastal Kenya, we implemented a shop keeper training programme in 23 shops serving a population of approximately 3500, based on formative research within the community. We evaluated the training by measuring changes in the proportions of drug sales where an adequate amount of chloroquine was purchased and in the percentage of home-treated childhood fevers given an adequate amount of chloroquine. The programme was assessed qualitatively in the community following the shop keeper training. RESULTS: The percentage of drug sales for children with fever which included an antimalarial drug rose from 34.3% (95% CI 28.9%-40.1%) before the training to a minimum of 79.3% (95% CI 71.8%-85.3%) after the training. The percentage of antimalarial drug sales where an adequate amount of drug was purchased rose from 31.8% (95% CI 26.6%-37.6%) to a minimum of 82.9% (95% CI 76.3%-87.3%). The percentage of childhood fevers where an adequate dose of chloroquine was given to the child rose from 3.7% (95% CI 1.2%-9.7%) before the training to a minimum of 65.2% (95% CI 57.7%-72.0%) afterwards, which represents an increase in the appropriate use of over-the-counter chloroquine by at least 62% (95% CI 53.7%-69.3%). Shop keepers and community members were strongly supportive of the aims and outcome of the programme. CONCLUSIONS: The large shifts in behaviour observed indicate that the approach of training shop keepers as a channel for information to the community is both feasible and likely to have a significant impact. Whilst some of the impact seen may be attributable to research effects in a relatively small scale pilot study, the magnitude of the changes support further investigation into this approach as a potentially important new strategy in malaria control. (+info)
Self-medication of antibacterials without prescription (also called 'over-the-counter' use). A report of a Working Party of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.
The availability of antimicrobial agents for self-medication may increase and could include antibacterial agents for oral or topical use. Wholesale deregulation of antibacterials would be undesirable and likely to encourage misuse of classes of agents currently important in the management of serious infections. Changed regulation from Prescription-Only Medicine (POM) to Pharmacy (P) medicine of selected agents with indications for short-term use in specific minor infections and illness is likely to have advantages to the user. However, safeguards to their use would need to be included in the Patient Information Leaflet (PIL). Agents and indications for self-medication are discussed. Any alteration in licensed status from POM to P will require careful risk-benefit assessment, including the likely impact on bacterial resistance. Safety issues also include concerns relating to age of the user, pregnancy, underlying disease and the potential for drug interactions. The importance of appropriate information with the PIL is emphasized, as is the role of the pharmacist, while ways of improving adverse event notification and monitoring are discussed. The paucity of good denominator-controlled data on the prevalence of in-vitro resistance is highlighted, and recommendations for improving the situation are made. There are currently no levels of resistance accepted by regulatory bodies on which to base a licensing decision, be it for granting a product licence, renewal of a licence or a change in licensed status from POM to P. Due consideration should be given to: the validation of user-defined indications in comparison with those medically defined; the enhancement of pharmacy advice in the purchase of such agents; improved safety monitoring; the establishment of systematic surveillance of susceptibility data. (+info)