All antidepressants are more effective than placebo

All commonly prescribed antidepressant medicines are effective in patients with major depression, to a greater or lesser extent, a large systematic review and network meta-analysis published in The Lancet concludes (DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(17)32802-7).
The review included 522 trials involving 116,477 adults with major depressive disorder. It found …

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Use of acid suppressants in pregnancy may increase risk of childhood asthma

A recent systematic review (Paediatrics 2018;141(2):e20170889) indicates that maternal use of proton-pump inhibitors and H2-receptor antagonists in pregnancy may increase the risk of asthma in the child.
The authors conducted a meta-analysis of eight population-based studies and found that acid suppressant use during pregnancy was associated …

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NICE provides guidance on managing sore throat

NICE has issued final guidance on how GPs and other health professionals should manage acute sore throat (NG84). The guideline, developed in partnership with Public Health England (PHE), is one of a series of antimicrobial prescribing guidelines covering the management of common infections; acute sinusitis …

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PHE review prescription medicine dependence

Public Health England (PHE) has announced that it is conducting a review to examine the evidence for dependence on prescribed medicines. According to NHS prescribing data from NatCen Social Research, prescribing of dependence-forming medicines (opioids, benzodiazepines, ‘z-drugs’ used for insomnia and GABA-ergic medicines) in primary …

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NICE reappraises disease-modifying MS treatments

In new draft guidance, NICE has recommended the disease-modifying multiple sclerosis (MS) drug interferon beta-1b (Extavia) for routine funding on the NHS. Following an agreement with company Novartis to provide a discount to the list price, NICE recommends Extavia as a cost-effective option for adults …

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NICE issues draft guidance on decision-making and mental capacity

NICE has published new draft guidance that provides advice to health and social care professionals on the complex issue of decision-making and mental capacity in adults.
The guidance is relevant to people over the age of 16 years who may lack the mental capacity to make …

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Danish study supports link between hormonal contraception and breast cancer

The risk of breast cancer is higher among women who have recently used hormonal contraception than in those who have never used it, according to a large prospective cohort study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (2017;377:2228–39).
The study investigators assessed the association between …

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NHS England consults on prescribing of OTC products

NHS England, in partnership with NHS Clinical Commissioners, have launched a public consultation on reducing the prescribing of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines for 33 minor health conditions. This includes medicines for conditions that are self-limiting or that lend themselves to self-care, or treatments for which there …

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CCGs failing to declare conflicts of interest

According to a report published by the BMJ (2018;360:j5915), CCGs in England are often failing to declare sources of funding in their public registers. Since March 2013, CCGs have been required by law to declare any conflicts of interest and to publish these in their …

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New GLP-1 agonist recommended for type 2 diabetes

The European Medicines Agency’s (EMA’s) Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has recommended the granting of a marketing authorisation for the long-acting glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonist semaglutide (Ozempic) for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
The CHMP recommends that semaglutide is licensed for use …

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