Wednesday February 20, 2019

Complex Inhalers May Prevent Patients From Taking Medicine

For the study, published in the journal Respiratory Medicine, researchers recruited a group of patients with rheumatoid arthritis and compared how well they could use four types of commonly prescribed inhalers to a healthy control group

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Researchers discovered that only 15 percent of the arthritis patients could complete all the steps to use one type of inhaler. Pixabay

Patients suffering from the respiratory disease with arthritis could struggle to manage their condition because their inhalers are too fiddly for them to use, a study has claimed.

According to the researchers, medical professionals should check that patients with respiratory diseases and rheumatoid arthritis can use their inhalers properly to reduce the risk of their being unable to take their medicines.

“Pharmacists, doctors, and nurses need to make these easy checks not only to help patients achieve better outcomes but also reduce demand on the NHS, not to mention taking away the stress and irritation of a complex and difficult process for the patient,” said co-author of the study Matthew Jones, Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology at the University of Bath.

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Respiratory diseases, including asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), are common in people with rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis often affects the hands making complex or finely controlled actions difficult and painful, the researcher said.

inhalers
Two other commonly prescribed inhalers saw the arthritis group struggle to complete the operating steps compared to the control group (50 percent to 91 percent, and 77 percent to 97 percent). Pixabay

For the study, published in the journal Respiratory Medicine, researchers recruited a group of patients with rheumatoid arthritis and compared how well they could use four types of commonly prescribed inhalers to a healthy control group.

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They discovered that only 15 percent of the arthritis patients could complete all the steps to use one type of inhaler.

“No one wants to see patients struggle needlessly to take the medicines they need to manage serious conditions,” the researcher said.

“These results show how important it is that health professionals make sure people can use any inhaler they prescribe,” Jones noted. (IANS)

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Fish Oil Supplements May Not Improve Asthma Symptoms, Says Study

New therapeutic interventions to reduce airway inflammation and facilitate improved asthma control are greatly needed, the team suggested

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Man about to use asthma inhaler

Fish oil supplements, once touted as the natural substance that could alleviate many of your chronic ailments, may not prove to be helpful to obese/overweight adolescents and young adults with uncontrolled asthma, new research suggests.

The study, published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, showed that four grams of fish oil a day for six months did not improve asthma control, as measured by a standard asthma control questionnaire, breathing tests, urgent care visits and severe asthma exacerbations.

“We don’t know why asthma control in obese patients is more difficult, but there is growing evidence that obesity causes systemic inflammation,” said lead author Jason E. Lang, Associate Professor at the Duke University in the US.

“Because the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil have anti-inflammatory properties, we wanted to test whether fish oil would have therapeutic benefits for these patients,” Lang added.

The team included nearly 100 overweight or obese participants aged 12 to 25 and found that the participants had poor asthma control despite using a daily inhaled corticosteroid to control their asthma.

For every three participants assigned to take fish oil for 25 weeks, one was assigned to take the soy oil placebo.

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Fish oil may not improve asthma symptoms: Study. Pixabay

In addition, the team also looked at whether a variant in the gene ALOX5 affected the findings. It is known that mutations in the gene can reduce responses to anti-leukotriene drugs.

Leukotrienes are inflammatory molecules that play a critical role in triggering asthma attacks. In this study, the ALOX5 variant did appear to be linked to leukotriene production but not to the effectiveness of fish oil in providing asthma control.

The researchers noted that the study’s negative findings may not be the last word on fish oil and asthma and acknowledged that larger doses of fish oil over a longer period of time may produce a different result.

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However, based on the current study, “there is insufficient evidence for clinicians to suggest to patients with uncontrolled asthma that they should take daily fish oil supplements to help their asthma”, said Lang.

New therapeutic interventions to reduce airway inflammation and facilitate improved asthma control are greatly needed, the team suggested. (IANS)