english.prescrire.org > Prescrire International > N°82 - April 2006

n°82

April 2006

Issue Contents
Editorial

Free  Mental health

p.42
European authorities would be well advised to encourage need-oriented drug research and development

New Products


Risperidone (autism or mental disabilities) (new indication)

p.43-45
No evidence that risperidone is any more effective than haloperidol or lithium for the treatment of behavioural disorders in mentally disabled or autistic children.

Eplerenone (recent myocardial infarction with heart failure) (new drug)

p.46-49
Eplerenone may be helpful in patients with non severe heart failure after recent myocardial infarction, especially those under 65 years of age.

Artificial prices

p.49

Ethinylestradiol + etonogestrel contraceptive vaginal ring (new drug)

p.50-53
The vaginal ring offers women another choice of effective contraception, which some women may prefer, at least temporarily, in certain circumstances.

Tolcapone: in Parkinson's disease: unacceptable risk of severe hepatitis

p.54-57
It is unacceptable to expose patients to a risk of life-threatening hepatitis when the clinical benefits of tolcapone treatment remain uncertain.

Porfimer (Endobrachyesophagus) (new drug)

p.58-59
We do not know if photodynamic therapy based on porfimer reduces the long-term risk of recurrence, invasive carcinoma, or major surgery.

Bivalirudine (percutaneous coronary interventions )

p.60
Comparative trials have failed to show that bivalirudine has a better risk-benefit balance than a heparin + abciximab combination.

Etanercept (plaque psoriasis)

p.60
It remains to be shown whether etanercept is as effective as other systemic treatments or phototherapy in moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.

Cholera vaccine (cholera vaccine)

p.60
There is no conclusive evidence that cholera vaccination is beneficial for travellers, who have an extremely low risk of contracting the disease.

Adverse Effects


Lindane: serious neurological effects

p.61
Pyrethrins and malathion are the insecticides of choice for the treatment of pediculosis. Lindane has no place in the treatment of either lice or scabies.

Interferon alfa, peginterferon alfa and retinopathy

p.61-62
Patients treated with peginterferon alfa and standard interferon alfa can develop retinal lesions, which generally regress within a few months.

Adverse effects of amiodarone: even after the end of treatment

p.62
Patients must be carefully monitored, both during treatment and for at least three months (up to one year) after treatment is withdrawn.

Phytoestrogens and endometrial hyperplasia

p.62-63
Efficacy on hot flushes inadequately documented,many unknowns concerning the possible risks of thromboembolism and breast cancer.

Phytotherapy: rarely mentioned spontaneously

p.63
Patients must be carefully questioned about all treatments they are taking, including herbal products they do not consider worth mentioning.

Reviews


Buprenorphine replacement therapy

p.64-70
Nine years of experience in France clearly show that ambulatory buprenorphine replacement therapy is both feasible and beneficial for heroin addicts

Outlook


2005 Prescrire Awards

p.71-74

2005 New Drug Awards

p.72

2005 Packaging Awards

p.73

2005 Information Awards

p.74

Free  A look back at the pharmaceuticals market 2005

p.75-79
The prices granted for new drugs still bear little relation to R&D costs or to therapeutic advantages. By seeking to sustain a pharmaceutical industry that is no longer innovative, governments are neglecting their mission to protect public health

EU Directives apply directly after the transposition date has expired

p.78

Regulatory agencies pay lip service to data transparency

p.78-79

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