Health and Fitness

For Menstrual Pain, NSAIDs May Be More Effective Than Paracetamol

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen may be more effective for relieving period pain than paracetamol, according to the update of a Cochrane Review. However, it remains unclear whether any one NSAID is safer or more effective than others. Period pain affects a high proportion of women: up to 72% in a recent Australian survey of 16-49 year olds. It is thought to be caused by an excess or imbalance of certain hormones released by the body during menstrual periods, including one called prostaglandin. NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen are commonly used for period pain. The updated review includes data from 73 trials carried out in 18 different countries and involving a total of 5, 156 women. The trials compared NSAIDs with placebo, with each other, and with paracetamol. The review shows that NSAIDs are very effective for treating period pain compared with placebo. This applied to all NSAIDs tested except aspirin, for which there was only limited evidence of effectiveness.

Officials Debate Merits Of Medical Marijuana As Coping Tool In Pain Fight

As access to medical marijuana becomes more widespread, officials are debating its use as a pain-coping treatment and are easing rules for the sick to use the drug, The Wall Street Journal reports. "The U.S. Department of Justice has said it will not generally prosecute ill people under doctors' care whose use of the drug complies with state rules. New Jersey will become the 14th state to allow therapeutic use of marijuana, and the number is likely to grow. Illinois and New York, among others, are considering new laws." But there are not many clinical trials to show solid data on how successful such use of the plant is to helping patients. "A recent American Medical Association review found fewer than 20 randomized, controlled clinical trials of smoked marijuana for all possible uses. These involved around 300 people in all - well short of the evidence typically required for a pharmaceutical to be marketed in the U.S. ... Though states have been legalizing medical use of marijuana since 1996, when California passed a ballot initiative, the idea remains controversial" (Wilde Mathews, 1/18).

Should Women Decide Whether Or Not To Eat And Drink During Labor

Women should be allowed to eat and drink what they want during labour, say Cochrane Researchers. The researchers carried out a systematic review of studies examining the traditional practice of restricting food and fluid intake during labour and found no evidence for any risk or benefit for women at low risk of complications. Throughout much of the last century, eating and drinking during labour was considered dangerous and many maternity units operated "nil by mouth" policies or restricted what women in labour were allowed to eat and drink, regardless of women's preferences. This was largely due to concerns about possibly fatal damage to the lungs caused by "Mendelson's syndrome", where particles of regurgitated food are inhaled under general anaesthetic during Caesarean sections. Recently, however, attitudes have begun to change and in many maternity wards, particularly in the UK, women are now allowed to eat and drink what they want during labour. The Cochrane Systematic Review, which included five studies and a total of 3130 women, looked at the evidence for restricting food and drink in women who were considered unlikely to need anaesthesia.

Society Of Interventional Radiology Supports Treatment For Painful Spine Fractures: Patient Selection Key

Given the current controversy over vertebroplasty -- a minimally invasive treatment performed by interventional radiologists in individuals with painful osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures that fail to respond to conventional medical therapy -- what's a patient to do? Trust your medical team to decide if you are an appropriate candidate for vertebroplasty and trust the experience of hundreds of thousands of other patients who have undergone the spine treatment successfully and received life-improving effects, says the Society of Interventional Radiology. "Hundreds of thousands of patients have greatly benefited from vertebroplasty with almost complete resolution of their pain; tens of thousands dependent on intravenous narcotics have been discharged from the hospital virtually pain- and drug-free following their treatment, " noted SIR President Brian F. Stainken, M.D., FSIR, who represents the national organization of nearly 4, 500 doctors, scientists and allied health professionals dedicated to improving health care through minimally invasive treatments.

Dentist's Drills Could Be Replaced By Painless Plasma Jets

Plasma jets capable of obliterating tooth decay-causing bacteria could be an effective and less painful alternative to the dentist's drill, according to a new study published in the February issue of the Journal of Medical Microbiology. Firing low temperature plasma beams at dentin - the fibrous tooth structure underneath the enamel coating - was found to reduce the amount of dental bacteria by up to 10, 000-fold. The findings could mean plasma technology is used to remove infected tissue in tooth cavities - a practice that conventionally involves drilling into the tooth. Scientists at the Leibniz-Institute of Surface Modifications, Leipzig and dentists from the Saarland University, Homburg, Germany, tested the effectiveness of plasma against common oral pathogens including Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus casei. These bacteria form films on the surface of teeth and are capable of eroding tooth enamel and the dentin below it to cause cavities. If left untreated it can lead to pain, tooth loss and sometimes severe gum infections.

What Is Repetitive Strain Injury RSI ? What Causes Repetitive Strain Injury?

Repetitive strain injury or RSI, also known as repetitive stress injury, repetitive motion injuries, repetitive motion disorder (RMD), cumulative trauma disorder (CTD), occupational overuse syndrome, overuse syndrome, and regional musculoskeletal disorder is a range of painful or uncomfortable conditions of the muscles, tendons, nerves and other soft tissues. RSI is usually caused by repetitive use of a certain part of the body, often somewhere in the upper limbs (arms). Repetitive strain injury is typically related to an occupation (job), but may also be linked to some kinds of leisure activity. As opposed to a sudden or 'normal' injury, RSI signs and symptoms may continue for much longer. Experts say that repetitive strain injury is an injury of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems that may be the result of repetitive tasks, forceful exertions, vibrations, pressing against hard surfaces (mechanical compression), or sustained or awkward positions. Conditions such as RSI tend to be linked to both physical and psychosocial stressors (mental stress ).

Wyeth Consumer Healthcare Withdraws Its Marketing Authorisation Application For Ibuprofen Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride Wyeth

The European Medicines Agency has been formally notified by Wyeth Consumer Healthcare of its decision to withdraw its application for a centralised marketing authorisation for the medicine Ibuprofen/Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride Wyeth 200 mg/25 mg soft capsules. This medicine was intended to be used for the short-term treatment of mild to moderate pain in adults who experience sleeplessness as a result of the pain. The application for the marketing authorisation for Ibuprofen/Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride Wyeth was submitted to the Agency on 4 December 2008. At the time of the withdrawal, it was under review by the Agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP). In its official letter, the company stated that its decision to withdraw the application was based on CHMP's view that the data provided do not allow the Committee to conclude on a positive benefit-risk balance. More information about Ibuprofen/Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride Wyeth and the state of the scientific assessment at the time of withdrawal will be made available in a question-and-answer document.

Study Reveals Predictors Of Long-term Opioid Use For Back Pain

Despite limited evidence of long-term success in using opioid pain medications for chronic low back pain, opioid prescribing has increased in recent years for back pain and other non-cancer pain indications. The implications are controversial as published studies provide little evidence indicating which patients will benefit from long-term opioid treatment. New research, published in The Journal of Pain, identifies predictors of long-term opioid use among patients with chronic back pain caused by lumbar spine conditions. Participants were recruited from 13 spine specialty centers in 11 states and totaled 2, 110. Forty-two percent reported using opioids for pain from their spine condition and a third said they take opioids every day. From their analysis of the demographic, medical and social characteristics of study participants, the researchers found that nonsurgical treatment and smoking independently predicted continued long-term opioid use and pain severity did not. The authors noted that smoking can be a marker for substance abuse disorders, which was not a characteristic evaluated in the sample due to limitations for measuring alcohol or drug use.

Study Probes Limb-loss Pain Outcomes In Men And Women

With increasing numbers of men and women serving in combat and risking traumatic injury and limb loss, a new study published in The Journal of Pain, the peer-reviewed publication of the American Pain Society, concludes that self-reported amputation-specific pain severity is similar in men and women but there are considerable gender variations in overall pain outcomes, such as emotional health and pain-coping responses. Although the medical literature has abundant information on gender differences in pain severity and coping, little is known on how men and women may differ in living with limb-loss pain. Researchers from the University of Washington School of Medicine evaluated survey responses from 335 adults with amputated limbs to investigate sex differences in pain intensity, interference with daily activities and pain-related coping. Study participants were asked about the presence of pain related to their amputated limbs and to rate their pain on a numeric scale. The authors hypothesized that women would report greater amputation-related pain intensity and pain interference.

Smaller Doses Of Acetaminophen Considered To Improve Safety

The pain reliever acetaminophen is one of the safest and most effective drugs on the market. It's often recommended instead of aspirin as a day-to-day pain reliever because it's much easier on the stomach than other over-the-counter options and is considered safe when taken properly. But taken in too high a dose, acetaminophen can damage the liver and perhaps cause liver failure. The January issue of Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource covers safety concerns and proposed changes in maximum doses. Over-the-counter acetaminophen often is associated with the brand-name drug Tylenol. It's also present in other products to treat headaches, cold and flu symptoms, sinus problems, sleeplessness, arthritis and menstrual cramps. Acetaminophen also is an active ingredient in some prescription pain medications including some preparations of oxycodone (Percocet) and hydrocodone (Vicodin). On prescription products, acetaminophen often is abbreviated as "APAP." With so many medications containing acetaminophen, it's easy to take too much of the drug without realizing it.

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