Tolerability and efficacy of carvedilol in patients with New York Heart Association class IV heart failure. (1/645)

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to assess the tolerability and efficacy of carvedilol in patients with New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class IV symptoms. BACKGROUND: Carvedilol, a nonselective beta-adrenergic blocking drug with alpha-adrenergic blocking and antioxidant properties, has been shown to improve left ventricular function and clinical outcome in patients with mild to moderate chronic heart failure. METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed the outcomes of 230 patients with heart failure treated with carvedilol who were stratified according to baseline functional class: 63 patients were NYHA class IV and 167 were NYHA class I, II or III. Carvedilol was commenced at 3.125 mg b.i.d. and titrated to 25 mg b.i.d. as tolerated. Patients with class IV symptoms were older (p = 0.03), had lower left ventricular fractional shortening (p < 0.001), had lower six-min walk distance (p < 0.001) and were receiving more heart failure medications at baseline compared with less symptomatic patients. RESULTS: Nonfatal adverse events while taking carvedilol occurred more frequently in class IV patients (43% vs. 24%, p < 0.0001), and more often resulted in permanent withdrawal of the drug (25% vs. 13%, p < 0.01). Thirty-seven (59%) patients who were NYHA class IV at baseline had improved by one or more functional class at 3 months, 8 (13%) were unchanged and 18 (29%) had deteriorated or died. Among the less symptomatic group, 62 (37%) patients had improved their NYHA status at 3 months, 73 (44%) were unchanged and 32 (19%) had deteriorated or died. The differences in symptomatic outcome at three months between the two groups were statistically significant (p = 0.001, chi-square analysis). Both groups demonstrated similar significant improvements in left ventricular dimensions and systolic function. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with chronic NYHA class IV heart failure are more likely to develop adverse events during initiation and dose titration when compared with less symptomatic patients but are more likely to show symptomatic improvement in the long term. We conclude that carvedilol is a useful adjunctive therapy for patients with NYHA class IV heart failure; however, they require close observation during initiation and titration of the drug.  (+info)

Developments in total quality management in the United States: the Intermountain Health Care perspective. (2/645)

In summary our purpose has been to evaluate quality in the following terms. Best process of care--narrowing the variation of care decisions, working towards the best method. Best clinical outcome--decreased morbidity ond mortality. Best patient satisfaction--both for clinical outcome and the process of care. Best value--best value at the lowest cost. At Intermountain Health Care we believe that the best way to achieve the best quality improvement in a health care system is to involve all of the participants--patients, providers, and systems--in employing the principles of total quality management. Patient involvement--in prevention; participating in best care process through education and utilisation; in evaluating functional status before, during, and after intervention; in satisfaction; in clinical outcome and follow up with providers. Provider involvement--in planning, implementing, analysing, and educating; in defining guidelines; in reassessing and defining guidelines; in reassessing and continually modifying the care map, always striving for "best care." System involvement--in providing structure and mechanisms, support staff, and information systems and being willing to focus on quality as a part of its mission. An American philosopher, George Santayana, once said: "What we call the contagious force of an idea is really the force of the people who have embraced it." It will be up to all of us collectively to become the force behind moving quality management principles into the forefront of patient care methodology and ensuring that quality remains as the guiding principle of health care delivery in the future.  (+info)

Is reporting rate a good predictor of risks associated with drugs? (3/645)

AIMS: Uncertainty as to relative under-reporting plagues the comparisons of spontaneous reporting rates as a tool for decision-making in pharmacovigilance. However, it is generally accepted that under-reporting should be reasonably similar for similar drugs sharing the same indication, country and period of marketing. To test this, we compared the adverse drug reaction reporting rates to the French regional pharmacovigilance centres for six pairs of identical drug marketed at the same time by different companies under different brand names (co-marketing). METHODS: All reaction reports were related to sales, to compute reporting rate; within each pair, the reporting rate ratio and its confidence interval were calculated. RESULTS: The rate ratios were all between 0.76 and 1.33. Two of them were significantly different from 1 (1.28; 95% C.I. [1.01; 1.60] and 1.33; 95% C.I. [1.06; 1.74]). CONCLUSIONS: These small differences in reporting rates would not warrant regulatory action and support the usual assumption of similar reporting for similar drugs.  (+info)

Relationship of nimesulide safety to its pharmacokinetics: assessment of adverse reactions. (4/645)

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are among the most widely used drugs and their use is frequently associated with severe or even serious adverse events, which increase morbidity and mortality. The increase of toxic effects, primarily of the digestive system, due to treatment with NSAIDs, underlines a need for safer NSAIDs. Nimesulide (4-nitro-2-phenoxymethanesulphonanilide) is a chemically unique anti-inflammatory agent in that it has a higher pKa (6.5) than conventional acidic NSAIDs and it is one of the newer class of NSAIDs that are selective for cyclooxygenase-2. Nimesulide also has additional activities, among them effects on production/action of oxy-radicals and other components of neutrophil activation that may contribute to the spectrum of its anti-inflammatory activity as well as potentially reducing the likelihood of gastrointestinal ulcerogenicity. An analysis was performed of the safety data of nimesulide collected in clinical studies and from those reported spontaneously worldwide in the post-marketing phase. The results show that nimesulide is associated with a relatively low occurrence of adverse drug reactions especially in the gastrointestinal tract while those in the liver are within or below the general incidence with other NSAIDs.  (+info)

Signalling possible drug-drug interactions in a spontaneous reporting system: delay of withdrawal bleeding during concomitant use of oral contraceptives and itraconazole. (5/645)

AIMS: In spontaneous adverse drug reaction reporting systems, there is a growing need for methods facilitating the automated detection of signals concerning possible adverse drug reactions. In addition, special attention is needed for the detection of adverse drug reactions resulting from possible drug-drug interactions. We describe a method for detecting possible drug-drug interactions using logistic regression analysis to calculate ADR reporting odds ratios. METHODS: To illustrate this method, we analysed the adverse drug reaction 'delayed withdrawal bleeding' resulting from a possible interaction between itraconazole and oral contraceptives in reports received by the Netherlands Pharmacovigilance Foundation LAREB between 1991 and 1998. RESULTS: In total 5,503 reports were included in the study. The odds ratio, adjusted for year of reporting, age and source of the reports, for a delayed withdrawal bleeding in women who used both drugs concomitantly compared with women who used neither oral contraceptives, nor itraconazole, was 85 (95% CI: 32-230). CONCLUSIONS: Since spontaneous reporting systems can only generate signals concerning possible relationships, this association needs to be analysed by other methods in more detail in order to determine the real strength of the relationship. This approach might be a promising tool for the development of procedures for automated detection of possible drug-drug interactions in spontaneous reporting systems.  (+info)

Intussusception among recipients of rotavirus vaccine--United States, 1998-1999. (6/645)

On August 31, 1998, a tetravalent rhesus-based rotavirus vaccine (RotaShield, Wyeth Laboratories, Inc., Marietta, Pennsylvania) (RRV-TV) was licensed in the United States for vaccination of infants. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Family Physicians have recommended routine use of RRV-TV for vaccination of healthy infants. During September 1, 1998-July 7, 1999, 15 cases of intussusception (a bowel obstruction in which one segment of bowel becomes enfolded within another segment) among infants who had received RRV-TV were reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). This report summarizes the clinical and epidemiologic features of these cases and preliminary data from ongoing studies of intussusception and rotavirus vaccine.  (+info)

Attitudinal survey of voluntary reporting of adverse drug reactions. (7/645)

AIMS: Voluntary adverse drug reaction (ADR) reporting schemes have operated since the early sixties in many Western countries. It is generally recognized, however, that only a small proportion of ADRs is actually reported. The current survey was conducted to assess attitudes towards reporting of ADRs, and to study which types of ADRs are reported. METHODS: A questionnaire seeking reasons for nonreporting was sent to a random sample of 10% of medical practitioners in The Netherlands in October 1997. After 6 weeks, a reminder was sent to those who had not responded. RESULTS: One thousand four hundred and forty-two (73%) questionnaires were returned, of which 94% were complete. The percentage of GPs (51%) which had ever reported an ADR to the national reporting centre was significantly higher than the percentage of specialists (35%), who reported more often to the pharmaceutical industry (34% vs 48%). 86% of GPs, 72% of surgical specialists and 81% of medical specialists had ever diagnosed an ADR, which they had not reported. Uncertainty as to whether the reaction was caused by a drug (72%), the ADR being trivial (75%) or too well known (93%) were the most important reasons for not reporting. 18% were not aware of the need to report ADRs, 22% did not know how to report ADRs, 38% did not have enough time, 36% thought that reporting was too bureaucratic and only 26% of Dutch physicians knew which ADRs to report. A serious ADR, an unlabelled ADR, an ADR to a new drug, history of reporting of one or more ADRs, and specialty were all independently associated with reporting of 16 hypothetical ADRs. Surgical and medical specialists tended to report less often than GPs. CONCLUSIONS: There is a considerable degree of underreporting, which might partly be explained by lack of knowledge and misconceptions about spontaneous reporting of adverse drug reactions.  (+info)

Epidemiology of drug exposure and adverse drug reactions in two swiss departments of internal medicine. (8/645)

AIMS: To explore drug exposure, frequency of adverse drug reactions (ADRs), types of ADRs, predisposing risk factors and ADR-related excess hospital stay in medical inpatients. METHODS: Structured data regarding patient characteristics, 'events' (symptoms, laboratory results), diagnoses (ICD10) and drug therapy were collected using a computer-supported data entry system and an interface for data retrieval from electronic patient records. ADR data were collected by 'event monitoring' to minimize possible bias by the drug monitor. The causality of each event was assessed in relation to disease(s) and drug therapy. RESULTS: The analysis included 4331 (100%) hospitalizations. The median observation period was 8 days. The median number of different drugs administered per patient and day was 6 and varied between 4 (Q1 ) and 9 (Q3 ) different drugs in 50% of all hospital days. In 41% of all hospitalizations at least one disease-unrelated event could be possibly attributed to drug therapy. Clinically relevant ADRs occurred in 11% of all hospitalizations. In 3.3% of all hospitalizations ADRs were the cause of hospital admission. The incidence of possibly ADR-related deaths was 1.4. Factors predisposing for clinically relevant ADRs were female gender and polypharmacy. ADR-related excess hospital stay accounted for 8. 6% of hospital days. CONCLUSIONS: These data demonstrate the feasibility of the developed 'event monitoring' system for quantitative analysis of ADRs in medical inpatients. With increasing numbers of recorded patients the pharmacoepidemiological database provides a valuable tool to study specific questions regarding drug efficacy and safety in hospitalized patients.  (+info)