Our featured research news in 2008 looked at new treatment approaches, prevention strategies, drug research, and changes in medical care. The studies also reflected the changes in medical industry to decrease unnecessary costs without cutting care. Here is a quick recap on medication research featured from 2008.
Medication Research News
Some new drug combinations had promising results:
- A combination drug showed positive potential for people newly diagnosed with Crohn’s disease . Infliximab and azathioprine appeared to help decrease the need for further treatments and increase chance of remission.
- A small study also showed that adding lithium to a current treatment may help slow the progress of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Others drugs, in some cases, were not useful.
Overuse of antibiotics has contributed to increased numbers of resistant bacteria. Research to determine when antibiotics are useful and when they are ineffective can help.
- Researchers followed the length and intensity of a sinus infection between groups of participants. Some received medication including antibiotics and some received no medication at all. In the end the study confirmed results of previous studies; antibiotics provided no benefit in treating the length or intensity of a sinus infection .
Other drugs studies found ways to improve quality of life.
- Zolpidem and Melatonin both helped seniors with dementia get a better night’s sleep. Although melatonin was also linked to increased confusion in the morning.
- Topiramate showed promise in improving the quality of life for alcoholics by decreasing obsessional thoughts about alcohol. The drug is not approved yet for this use but this may be a first step.
- Non-ergot dopamine agents (NEDAs) demonstrated an ability to control some of the symptoms of restless leg syndrome . However, side effects like nausea, dizziness, and fatigue may decrease its use in some participants.
- A small spray of a hormone medication estradiol was shown to decrease menopausal symptoms like hotflashes for some women.
How Does This Affect You?
Medications have made significant contributions to helping people manage many health issues. These treatments can help decrease the chances of developing serious health issues like stroke and heart disease. Research and development continues to create medication that is highly effective and has the least possible side effects.
If you are on medications, know what results and side effects to look for and talk to your doctor about them. If necessary, your doctor may be able to prescribe an alternative medication if you are having trouble with your current one. Take any medication as directed; do not stop taking medication without talking to your doctor first.
- Reviewer: Larissa J. Lucas, MD
- Review Date: 01/2008 -