The Paracetamol (Acetaminophen) In Stroke (PAIS) study is a phase III multicenter, double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial of high-dose acetaminophen in patients with acute stroke. The trial compares treatment with a daily dose of 6 g acetaminophen, started within 12 hours after the onset of symptoms, with matched placebo. The purpose of this study is to assess whether treatment with acetaminophen for 3 days will result in improved functional outcome through a modest reduction in body temperature and prevention of fever.
The previously planned statistical analysis based on a dichotomization of the scores on the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) may not make the most efficient use of the available baseline information. Therefore, the planned primary analysis of the PAIS study has been changed from fixed dichotomization of the mRS to a sliding dichotomy analysis.
Instead of taking a single definition of good outcome for all patients, the definition is tailored to each individual patient's baseline prognosis on entry into the trial.
The protocol change was initiated because of both advances in statistical approaches and to increase the efficiency of the trial by improving statistical power.
Current Controlled Trials [ISCRTN74418480]
During the first days after stroke, one to two fifths of the patients develop fever or subfebrile temperatures. Body temperature is a strong prognostic factor after stroke. Pharmacological reduction of temperature in patients with acute ischaemic stroke may improve their functional outcome. Previously, we studied the effect of high dose (6 g daily) and low dose (3 g daily) paracetamol (acetaminophen) in a randomised placebo-controlled trial of 75 patients with acute ischemic stroke. In the high-dose paracetamol group, mean body temperature at 12 and 24 hours after start of treatment was 0.4°C lower than in the placebo group. The effect of ibuprofen, another potent antipyretic drug, on body-core temperature in normothermic patients has not been studied.
The aim of the present trial is to study the effects of high-dose paracetamol and ibuprofen on body temperature in patients with acute ischaemic stroke, and to study the safety of these treatments.
Seventy-five (3 × 25) patients with acute ischaemic stroke confined to the anterior circulation will be randomised to treatment with either: 400 mg ibuprofen, 1000 mg acetaminophen, or with placebo 6 times daily during 5 days. Body-temperatures will be measured with a rectal electronic thermometer at the start of treatment and after 24 hours. An infrared tympanic thermometer will be used to monitor body temperature at 2-hour intervals during the first 24 hours and at 12-hour intervals thereafter. The primary outcome measure will be rectal temperature at 24 hours after the start of treatment. The study results will be analysed on an intent-to-treat basis, but an on-treatment analysis will also be performed. No formal interim analysis will be carried out.
Body temperature is a strong predictor of outcome in acute stroke. In a previous randomized trial we observed that treatment with high-dose acetaminophen (paracetamol) led to a reduction of body temperature in patients with acute ischemic stroke, even when they had no fever. The purpose of the present trial was to study whether this effect of acetaminophen could be reproduced, and whether ibuprofen would have a similar, or even stronger effect.
Seventy-five patients with acute ischemic stroke confined to the anterior circulation were randomized to treatment with either 1000 mg acetaminophen, 400 mg ibuprofen, or placebo, given 6 times daily during 5 days. Treatment was started within 24 hours from the onset of symptoms. Body temperatures were measured at 2-hour intervals during the first 24 hours, and at 6-hour intervals thereafter.
No difference in body temperature at 24 hours was observed between the three treatment groups. However, treatment with high-dose acetaminophen resulted in a 0.3°C larger reduction in body temperature from baseline than placebo treatment (95% CI: 0.0 to 0.6 °C). Acetaminophen had no significant effect on body temperature during the subsequent four days compared to placebo, and ibuprofen had no statistically significant effect on body temperature during the entire study period.
Treatment with a daily dose of 6000 mg acetaminophen results in a small, but potentially worthwhile decrease in body temperature after acute ischemic stroke, even in normothermic and subfebrile patients. Further large randomized clinical trials are needed to study whether early reduction of body temperature leads to improved outcome.
Paracetamol (acetaminophen) is recommended in most clinical practice guidelines as the first choice of treatment for low back pain, however there is limited evidence to support this recommendation. The PACE trial is the first placebo controlled trial of paracetamol for acute low back pain. This article describes the statistical analysis plan.
PACE is a randomized double dummy placebo controlled trial that investigates and compares the effect of paracetamol taken in two regimens for the treatment of low back pain. The protocol has been published. The analysis plan was completed blind to study group and finalized prior to initiation of analyses. All data collected as part of the trial were reviewed, without stratification by group, and classified by baseline characteristics, process of care and trial outcomes. Trial outcomes were classified as primary and secondary outcomes. Appropriate descriptive statistics and statistical testing of between-group differences, where relevant, have been planned and described.
A standard analysis plan was developed for the results of the PACE study. This plan comprehensively describes the data captured and pre-determined statistical tests of relevant outcome measures. The plan demonstrates transparent and verifiable use of the data collected. This a priori plan will be followed to ensure rigorous standards of data analysis are strictly adhered to.
Australia and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12609000966291
Acetaminophen; Back pain; Paracetamol; Statistical analysis plan; Randomised controlled trial
Alternating ibuprofen and acetaminophen for the treatment of febrile children is a prevalent practice among physicians and parents, despite the lack of evidence on effectiveness or safety. This randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled clinical trial aims at comparing the antipyretic effectiveness and safety of a single administration of alternating ibuprofen and acetaminophen doses to that of ibuprofen mono-therapy in febrile children.
Seventy febrile children were randomly allocated to receive either a single oral dose of 10 mg/kg ibuprofen and 15 mg/kg oral acetaminophen after 4 hours, or a similar dose of ibuprofen and placebo at 4 hours. Rectal temperature was measured at baseline, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 hours later. Endpoints included proportions of afebrile children at 6, 7 and 8 hours, maximum decline in temperature, time to recurrence of fever, and change in temperature from baseline at each time point. Intent-to-treat analysis was planned with statistical significance set at P < 0.05.
A higher proportion of subjects in the intervention group (83.3%) became afebrile at 6 hours than in the control group (57.6%); P = 0.018. This difference was accentuated at 7 and 8 hours (P < 0.001) with a significantly longer time to recurrence of fever in the intervention group (mean ± SD of 7.4 ± 1.3 versus 5.7 ± 2.2 hours), P < 0.001. Odds ratios (95%CI) for defervescence were 5.6 (1.3; 23.8), 19.5 (3.5; 108.9) and 15.3 (3.4; 68.3) at 6, 7 and 8 hours respectively. Two-way ANOVA with repeated measures over time revealed a significantly larger decline in temperature in the intervention group at times 7 (P = 0.026) and 8 (P = 0.002) hours.
A single dose of alternating ibuprofen and acetaminophen appears to be a superior antipyretic regimen than ibuprofen mono-therapy. Further studies are needed to confirm these findings.
The antipyretic effectiveness of rectal versus oral acetaminophen is not well established. This study is designed to compare the antipyretic effectiveness of two rectal acetaminophen doses (15 mg/kg) and (35 mg/kg), to the standard oral dose of 15 mg/kg.
This is a randomized, double-dummy, double-blind study of 51 febrile children, receiving one of three regimens of a single acetaminophen dose: 15 mg/kg orally, 15 mg/kg rectally, or 35 mg/kg rectally. Rectal temperature was monitored at baseline and hourly for a total of six hours. The primary outcome of the study, time to maximum antipyresis, and the secondary outcome of time to temperature reduction by at least 1°C were analyzed by one-way ANOVA. Two-way ANOVA with repeated measures over time was used to compare the secondary outcome: change in temperature from baseline at times1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 hours among the three groups. Intent-to-treat analysis was planned.
No significant differences were found among the three groups in the time to maximum antipyresis (overall mean = 3.6 hours; 95% CI: 3.2–4.0), time to fever reduction by 1°C or the mean hourly temperature from baseline to 6 hours following dose administration. Hypothermia (temperature < 36.5°C) occurred in 11(21.6%) subjects, with the highest proportion being in the rectal high-dose group.
Standard (15 mg/kg) oral, (15 mg/kg) rectal, and high-dose (35 mg/kg) rectal acetaminophen have similar antipyretic effectiveness.
A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study assessed the efficacy of acetaminophen or fluvastatin in preventing post-dose symptoms (increases in body temperature or use of rescue medication) following a single infusion of the intravenous (IV) bisphosphonate zoledronic acid (ZOL). Acetaminophen, but not fluvastatin, significantly reduced the incidence and severity of post-dose symptoms.
Transient symptoms including myalgia and pyrexia have been reported post-infusion of IV bisphosphonates, typically starting the day after infusion and resolving within several days. The cause is unknown but may be related to transient cytokine elevations. Statins’ potential to block release of these cytokines has been hypothesized. This study was aimed to evaluate efficacy of acetaminophen and fluvastatin in preventing/reducing post-dose symptoms following ZOL 5 mg infusion.
Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of efficacy of acetaminophen or fluvastatin in preventing increases in body temperature or use of rescue medication (ibuprofen) following a single ZOL infusion. Bisphosphonate-naive postmenopausal women with low bone mass (N = 793) were randomized into three treatment groups and given 650 mg acetaminophen or 80 mg fluvastatin or placebo 45 min before ZOL infusion. The acetaminophen group continued taking 650 mg acetaminophen every 6 h over the next 3 days, and the other two groups took matching placebo according to the same schedule. Subjects recorded body temperature, symptoms in a diary. Inflammatory cytokines and C-reactive protein (CRP) were measured at baseline, 24, and 72 h in a study subset.
Acetaminophen four times/day significantly reduced the incidence and severity of post-dose symptoms following ZOL infusion. Single-dose fluvastatin 80 mg prior to ZOL infusion did not prevent/reduce post-dose symptoms. Cytokine levels increased by 24 h and returned towards baseline by 72 h, similar to the pattern for post-infusion symptoms. CRP levels increased from baseline to 72 h.
Acetaminophen four times/day for 3 days significantly reduced the incidence and severity of post-dose symptoms following ZOL infusion.
Cytokines; Fluvastatin; Inflammatory biomarkers; Osteoporosis; Post-dose symptoms; Zoledronic acid
Background: Acetaminophen (paracetamol) is recommended as the initial pharmacological treatment for knee or hip osteoarthritis. However, survey and clinical trial data indicate greater efficacy for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and cyclo-oxygenase-2 specific inhibitors.
Design: Two randomised, double blind, placebo controlled, crossover multicentre clinical trials, Patient Preference for Placebo, Acetaminophen or Celecoxib Efficacy Studies (PACES).
Patients: Osteoarthritis of knee or hip.
Intervention: "Wash out" of treatment; randomisation; 6 weeks of celecoxib 200 mg/day, acetaminophen 1000 mg four times a day, or placebo; second "wash out;" crossover to 6 weeks of second treatment.
Measurements: Western Ontario McMaster Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC), visual analogue pain scale, patient preference between two treatments.
Results: Celecoxib was more efficacious than acetaminophen in both periods in both studies; WOMAC and pain scale scores differed at p<0.05 in period II and both periods combined of PACES-a and in periods I and II and both periods combined in PACES-b, but not in period I of PACES-a. Acetaminophen was more efficacious than placebo, generally p<0.05 in PACES-b, and >0.05 in PACES-a. Patient preferences were 53% celecoxib v 24% acetaminophen in PACES-a (p<0.001) and 50% v 32% in PACES-b (p = 0.009); 37% acetaminophen v 28% placebo in PACES-a (p = 0.340) and 48% v 24% in PACES-b (p = 0.007). No clinically or statistically significant differences were seen in adverse events or tolerability among the three treatment groups.
Conclusions: Greater efficacy was seen for celecoxib v acetaminophen v placebo, while adverse events and tolerability were similar. Variation in results and statistical significance in the two different trials are of interest.
Objective To investigate whether paracetamol (acetaminophen) plus ibuprofen are superior to either drug alone for increasing time without fever and the relief of fever associated discomfort in febrile children managed at home.
Design Individually randomised, blinded, three arm trial.
Setting Primary care and households in England.
Participants Children aged between 6 months and 6 years with axillary temperatures of at least 37.8°C and up to 41.0°C.
Intervention Advice on physical measures to reduce temperature and the provision of, and advice to give, paracetamol plus ibuprofen, paracetamol alone, or ibuprofen alone.
Main outcome measures Primary outcomes were the time without fever (<37.2°C) in the first four hours after the first dose was given and the proportion of children reported as being normal on the discomfort scale at 48 hours. Secondary outcomes were time to first occurrence of normal temperature (fever clearance), time without fever over 24 hours, fever associated symptoms, and adverse effects.
Results On an intention to treat basis, paracetamol plus ibuprofen were superior to paracetamol for less time with fever in the first four hours (adjusted difference 55 minutes, 95% confidence interval 33 to 77; P<0.001) and may have been as good as ibuprofen (16 minutes, −7 to 39; P=0.2). For less time with fever over 24 hours, paracetamol plus ibuprofen were superior to paracetamol (4.4 hours, 2.4 to 6.3; P<0.001) and to ibuprofen (2.5 hours, 0.6 to 4.4; P=0.008). Combined therapy cleared fever 23 minutes (2 to 45; P=0.025) faster than paracetamol alone but no faster than ibuprofen alone (−3 minutes, 18 to −24; P=0.8). No benefit was found for discomfort or other symptoms, although power was low for these outcomes. Adverse effects did not differ between groups.
Conclusion Parents, nurses, pharmacists, and doctors wanting to use medicines to supplement physical measures to maximise the time that children spend without fever should use ibuprofen first and consider the relative benefits and risks of using paracetamol plus ibuprofen over 24 hours.
Trial registration Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN26362730.
Paracetamol (acetaminophen, APAP) is a universally used analgesic and antipyretic agent. Considered safe at therapeutic doses, overdoses cause acute liver damage characterized by centrilobular hepatic necrosis. One of the major clinical problems of paracetamol-induced liver disease is the development of hemorrhagic alterations. Although hepatocytes represent the main target of the cytotoxic effect of paracetamol overdose, perturbations within the endothelium involving morphological changes of liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSECs) have also been described in paracetamol-induced liver disease. Recently, we have shown that paracetamol-induced liver damage is synergistically enhanced by the TRAIL signaling pathway. As LSECs are constantly exposed to activated immune cells expressing death ligands, including TRAIL, we investigated the effect of TRAIL on paracetamol-induced LSEC death. We here demonstrate for the first time that TRAIL strongly enhances paracetamol-mediated LSEC death with typical features of apoptosis. Inhibition of caspases using specific inhibitors resulted in a strong reduction of cell death. TRAIL appears to enhance paracetamol-induced LSEC death via the activation of the pro-apoptotic BH3-only proteins Bid and Bim, which initiate the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway. Taken together this study shows that the liver endothelial layer, mainly LSECs, represent a direct target of the cytotoxic effect of paracetamol and that activation of TRAIL receptor synergistically enhances paracetamol-induced LSEC death via the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway. TRAIL-mediated acceleration of paracetamol-induced cell death may thus contribute to the pathogenesis of paracetamol-induced liver damage.
liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSEC); paracetamol; TRAIL; Bcl-2 homologs; apoptosis
Paracetamol (acetaminophen) poisoning remains the commonest cause of acute liver injury in Europe and North America. The intravenous (IV) N-acetylcysteine (NAC) regimen introduced in the 1970s has continued effectively unchanged. This involves 3 different infusion regimens (dose and time) lasting over 20 hours. The same weight-related dose of NAC is used irrespective of paracetamol dose. Complications include frequent nausea and vomiting, anaphylactoid reactions and dosing errors. We designed a randomised controlled study investigating the efficacy of antiemetic pre-treatment (ondansetron) using standard NAC and a modified, shorter, regimen.
We designed a double-blind trial using a 2 × 2 factorial design involving four parallel groups. Pre-treatment with ondansetron 4 mg IV was compared against placebo on nausea and vomiting following the standard (20.25 h) regimen, or a novel 12 h NAC regimen in paracetamol poisoning. Each delivered 300 mg/kg bodyweight NAC. Randomisation was stratified on: paracetamol dose, perceived risk factors, and time to presentation. The primary outcome was the incidence of nausea and vomiting following NAC. In addition the frequency of anaphylactoid reactions and end of treatment liver function documented. Where clinically necessary further doses of NAC were administered as per standard UK protocols at the end of the first antidote course.
This study is primarily designed to test the efficacy of prophylactic anti-emetic therapy with ondansetron, but is the first attempt to formally examine new methods of administering IV NAC in paracetamol overdose. We anticipate, from volunteer studies, that nausea and vomiting will be less frequent with the new NAC regimen. In addition as anaphylactoid response appears related to plasma concentrations of both NAC and paracetamol anaphylactoid reactions should be less likely. This study is not powered to assess the relative efficacy of the two NAC regimens, however it will give useful information to power future studies. As the first formal randomised clinical trial in this patient group in over 30 years this study will also provide information to support further studies in patients in paracetamol overdose, particularly, when linked with modern novel biomarkers of liver damage, patients at different toxicity risk.
EudraCT number 2009-017800-10, ClinicalTrials.gov IdentifierNCT01050270
Paracetamol; Acetylcysteine; Overdose; Antidotes; Hepatotoxicity
N-acetylcysteine (NAC), an antidote for acetaminophen poisoning, might benefit patients with non-acetaminophen related acute liver failure.
In a prospective, double-blind trial, acute liver failure patients without clinical or historical evidence of acetaminophen overdose were stratified by site and coma grade and randomly assigned to groups that were given NAC or placebo (dextrose) infusion for 72 hours. The primary outcome was overall survival at 3 weeks. Secondary outcomes included transplant-free survival and rate of transplantation.
A total of 173 patients received NAC (n=81) or placebo (n=92). Overall survival at 3 weeks was 70% for patients given NAC and 66% for patients given placebo (one-sided p=0.283). Transplant-free survival was significantly better for NAC patients (40%) than for those given placebo (27%; one-sided p=0.043). The benefits of transplant-free survival appeared to be confined to the 114 patients with coma grade I–II who received NAC (52% compared with 30% for placebo; one-sided p=0.010); transplant-free survival for the 59 patients with coma grade III–IV was 9% in those given NAC and 22% in those given placebo (one-sided p=0.912). The transplantation rate was lower in the NAC group but not significantly different between groups (32% vs. 45%; p=0.093). Intravenous NAC was generally well tolerated; only nausea and vomiting occurred significantly more frequently in the NAC group (14% vs. 4%; p=0.031).
Intravenous NAC improves transplant-free survival in patients with early stage non-acetaminophen related acute liver failure. Patients with advanced coma grades do not benefit from NAC and typically require emergency liver transplantation. (ClinicalTrials.gov number NCT00004467)
Acetaminophen-cysteine adducts (APAP-CYS) are a specific biomarker of acetaminophen exposure. APAP-CYS concentrations have been described in the setting of acute overdose, and a concentration >1.1 nmol/ml has been suggested as a marker of hepatic injury from acetaminophen overdose in patients with an ALT >1000 IU/L. However, the concentrations of APAP-CYS during therapeutic dosing, in cases of acetaminophen toxicity from repeated dosing and in cases of hepatic injury from non-acetaminophen hepatotoxins have not been well characterized. The objective of this study is to describe APAP-CYS concentrations in these clinical settings as well as to further characterize the concentrations observed following acetaminophen overdose.
Samples were collected during three clinical trials in which subjects received 4 g/day of acetaminophen and during an observational study of acetaminophen overdose patients. Trial 1 consisted of non-drinkers who received APAP for 10 days, Trial 2 consisted of moderate drinkers dosed for 10 days and Trial 3 included subjects who chronically abuse alcohol dosed for 5 days. Patients in the observational study were categorized by type of acetaminophen exposure (single or repeated). Serum APAP-CYS was measured using high pressure liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection.
Trial 1 included 144 samples from 24 subjects; Trial 2 included 182 samples from 91 subjects and Trial 3 included 200 samples from 40 subjects. In addition, we collected samples from 19 subjects with acute acetaminophen ingestion, 7 subjects with repeated acetaminophen exposure and 4 subjects who ingested another hepatotoxin. The mean (SD) peak APAP-CYS concentrations for the Trials were: Trial 1- 0.4 (0.20) nmol/ml, Trial 2- 0.1 (0.09) nmol/ml and Trial 3- 0.3 (0.12) nmol/ml. APAP-CYS concentrations varied substantially among the patients with acetaminophen toxicity (0.10 to 27.3 nmol/ml). No subject had detectable APAP-CYS following exposure to a non-acetaminophen hepatotoxin.
Lower concentrations of APAP-CYS are detectable after exposure to therapeutic doses of acetaminophen and higher concentrations are detected after acute acetaminophen overdose and in patients with acetaminophen toxicity following repeated exposure.
Muscle injuries are one of the commonest injuries affecting athletes. It often leads to significant pain and disability causing loss of training and competition time. With current treatment, the duration to return-to-play ranges form six weeks to never, depending on injury severity. Recent researches have suggested that autologous platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection into the injured site may hasten soft tissues healing. To-date, there has been no randomised clinical trials to evaluate the effects of PRP on muscle healing. The aim of this study is to examine the effects of autologous PRP on duration to return-to-play after muscle injury.
Methods and design
A randomised, single blind controlled trial will be conducted. Twenty-eight patients aged 18 years and above with a recent grade-2 hamstring injury will be invited to take part. Participants will be randomised to receive either autologous PRP injection with rehabilitation programme, or rehabilitation programme only. Participants will be followed up at day three of study and then weekly for 16 weeks. At each follow up visit, participants will be assessed on readiness to return-to-play using a set of criteria. The primary end-point is when participants have fulfilled the return-to-play criteria or end of 16 weeks.
The main outcome measure of this study is the duration to return-to-play after injury.
This study protocol proposes a rigorous and potential significant evaluation of PRP use for grade-2 hamstring injury. If proven effective such findings could be of great benefit for patients with similar injuries.
Current Controlled Trials ISCRTN66528592
Dementia is an incurable disease with devastating consequences for both patients and their relatives. The objective of this study is to describe the study protocol of a randomized controlled trial with assignment to either usual care or case-management by district nurses, among informal caregivers of older adults with dementia symptoms who live at home and the older adults who receive informal care.
In this randomized controlled trial, effectiveness as well as cost-effectiveness of case-management is evaluated. It concerns case-management in early-detected patients with dementia symptoms and their primary informal caregivers. Participants are followed up to twelve months after baseline assessment. The main outcome measure of the effect evaluation is the caregiver's sense of competence to care for the older person with dementia symptoms. The economic evaluation is performed from a societal perspective.
This is one of the first trials on case-management that includes an economic evaluation. In addition, it concerns a tailor-made intervention in early-detected patients with dementia symptoms and their caregivers. The results of this randomized controlled trial will provide valuable information for health professionals and policy makers on effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of early tailor-made case-management for patients and their informal caregivers. Moreover, positive effects will challenge current health care systems to move to more pro-active approaches for this group.
Fever occurs commonly in the critically ill patients and may adversely affect outcome. Acetaminophen is one of the most commonly utilized antipyretic agents in the intensive care unit; however, there is little evidence that it is effective in this population. The objective of this study was to analyze the antipyretic activity of acetaminophen in critically ill patients.
We performed a retrospective study of MICU and SICU patients with Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (SIRS) and compared the resolution of fever in the presence and absence of acetaminophen treatment by comparing the absolute reduction in body temperature and the rate of cooling over comparable time frames in fevers that were untreated and those treated with acetaminophen.
We analyzed 166 febrile episodes (body temperature >38°C) in 59 patients with SIRS without cancer, neurologic disease, or liver disease. Acetaminophen was administered for 88 of 166 fevers. Febrile episodes in which other antipyretic drugs or external cooling were administered were excluded. The response to acetaminophen was variable, but the absolute temperature reduction was slightly higher (mean 0.86 vs. 0.56°C; p = 0.0362) and the cooling rate slightly more rapid (mean 0.20 vs. 0.13°C per h; p = 0.0152) in acetaminophen-treated vs. untreated fevers. There were no obvious differences between the most and least responsive patients.
We conclude that acetaminophen has significant albeit modest antipyretic activity in critically ill patients.
Fever; Acetaminophen; Antipyretic; Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome; Critically ill
Acetaminophen is a dose-dependent toxin. Prognosis in severe acute liver injury is related presumably in part to the dose ingested. We sought to assess the value of acetaminophen dosing information in patients with acute liver failure (ALF) due to acetaminophen toxicity to determine the role of dose as a prognostic indicator.
Prospective data from 113 patients with ALF having single-time-point ingestions of acetaminophen were analyzed. Multivariate and χ2 tests were used to determine the relationship of dose to clinical outcome. We also used the Mann-Whitney U test to compare prognosis and survival in ALF with acetaminophen dose ingested.
Multivariate and χ2 analyses failed to show any relationship between acetaminophen dose and spontaneous survival. A separate analysis showed no correlation between acetaminophen dose and clinical prognostic indicators.
Dose of acetaminophen ingested did not seem to play a role in prognosis. The most important prognostic factor was coma grade on admission to study. Acetaminophen dosing information is not always obtainable. When it is, it adds little to the clinical assessment. Severity of encephalopathy is a more reliable indicator of prognosis in these critically ill patients.
acetaminophen; acute liver failure; N-acetylcysteine
The purpose of this study was to compare antipyretic activity and evaluate tolerability of ibuprofen and paracetamol suspension in the treatment of febrile children. It was designed as a double blind, parallel group, multiple dose study comparing ibuprofen (20 mg/kg/24 hours) with paracetamol (50 mg/kg/24 hours) given at six hourly intervals for a maximum of 12 doses. Children on paediatric wards between the ages of 0.2 and 12 years, with fever as defined by an axillary temperature > or = 37.5 degrees C, were included. The main outcome measures were: change in axillary temperature; palatability of medication; changes in irritability and clinical condition; overall efficacy at the end of treatment; and number and nature of adverse events. The mean temperature change from baseline at four hours was -1.8 degrees C and -1.6 degrees C in ibuprofen and paracetamol groups respectively. In both groups: median palatability score was 'no reaction'; median irritability score at end point was 'not irritable'; median score for change in clinical condition was 'improved'; and median score for overall efficacy was 'good effect'. The proportion of patients experiencing adverse events was similar in both groups, the majority of events having doubtful or no relationship to therapy and being mild in severity. In conclusion, ibuprofen suspension was as effective and well tolerated as paracetamol in treatment of fever in young children.
The current guidelines for treatment of malaria include paracetamol to children with fever. No convincing evidence for the beneficial effects of this practice exists. Studies show that time to parasite clearance is significantly longer in children treated with paracetamol, which questions the policy. Whether this is of clinical importance has not been investigated.
Children with Plasmodium falciparum monoinfection and ≥20 parasites per 200 leucocytes at the Bandim Health Centre, Guinea-Bissau were randomized to receive paracetamol or placebo together with chloroquine for three days in a double blind randomized study. Temperature and symptoms were recorded twice daily during treatment and on day 3. The participants were interviewed and a malaria film taken once weekly until day 35. The data is in the form of grouped failure-times, the outcome of interest being time until parasitaemia during follow-up. Mantel-Haenszel weighted odds ratios are given. Other differences between and within the two groups have been tested using the Chi-square test and Mann-Whitney U test.
In the evening of the day of inclusion, the temperature was slightly, but statistically insignificant, higher in the placebo group and significantly more children complained of headache. At no other time was a significant difference in temperature or symptoms detected. However, 6 children from the placebo-group as compared to two children from the paracetamol-group were admitted to hospital with high fever and convulsions by day 3. No differences in the cumulative percentages of children with adequate clinical and parasitological response were found in the intention-to-treat analysis or in the per-protocol analysis.
Fewer children had early treatment failure and the mean temperature was slightly lower in the afternoon on day 0 in the paracetamol group. However, the cumulative adequate clinical and parasitological cure rates were not significantly different during the period of study. It is doubtful whether adding paracetamol to the treatment of uncomplicated malaria in children is beneficial.
Pneumonia is a major risk factor of death after acute stroke. In a mouse model, preventive antibacterial therapy with moxifloxacin not only prevents the development of post-stroke infections, it also reduces mortality, and improves neurological outcome significantly. In this study we investigate whether this approach is effective in stroke patients.
Preventive ANtibacterial THERapy in acute Ischemic Stroke (PANTHERIS) is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in 80 patients with severe, non-lacunar, ischemic stroke (NIHSS>11) in the middle cerebral artery (MCA) territory. Patients received either intravenous moxifloxacin (400 mg daily) or placebo for 5 days starting within 36 hours after stroke onset. Primary endpoint was infection within 11 days. Secondary endpoints included neurological outcome, survival, development of stroke-induced immunodepression, and induction of bacterial resistance.
On intention-to treat analysis (79 patients), the infection rate at day 11 in the moxifloxacin treated group was 15.4% compared to 32.5% in the placebo treated group (p = 0.114). On per protocol analysis (n = 66), moxifloxacin significantly reduced infection rate from 41.9% to 17.1% (p = 0.032). Stroke associated infections were associated with a lower survival rate. In this study, neurological outcome and survival were not significantly influenced by treatment with moxifloxacin. Frequency of fluoroquinolone resistance in both treatment groups did not differ. On logistic regression analysis, treatment arm as well as the interaction between treatment arm and monocytic HLA-DR expression (a marker for immunodepression) at day 1 after stroke onset was independently and highly predictive for post-stroke infections.
PANTHERIS suggests that preventive administration of moxifloxacin is superior in reducing infections after severe non-lacunar ischemic stroke compared to placebo. In addition, the results emphasize the pivotal role of immunodepression in developing post-stroke infections.
Adherence to non-specific prescription therapy may be associated with clinical outcomes beyond a given treatment effect. We assessed the association of blinded randomized pill prescription adherence with vascular outcomes after ischemic stroke.
We analyzed the Vitamin Intervention for Stroke Prevention (VISP) study database. VISP was a double-blind randomized trial, designed to determine whether high doses of vitamins (vs. low doses) would reduce recurrent stroke risk in 3,680 participants over a 2-year period. We examined the independent association of adherence with a composite endpoint (stroke, myocardial infarction, death).
Among 3,357 (91%) subjects with complete data, women, non-White persons, current smokers, those not on statins and those without a history of coronary artery bypass surgery were significantly less likely to be optimally adherent. Over the trial, persons who adhered well to treatment were less likely to experience the combined outcome than those who adhered poorly (13.4 vs. 20.6%, p < 0.0001). After multivariable analysis using various adherence measures, there were no significant differences between ≥80% vs. <80% adherence, but compared to <65% adherence, pill adherence levels of ≥90 to <99% (HR 0.56, 95% CI = 0.34–0.91; p = 0.02) and ≥99% (HR 0.46, 95% CI = 0.29–0.73; p = 0.001) were associated with lower occurrence of the combined outcome at 18 months.
Long-term excellent adherence to non-specific pill prescription among ischemic stroke patients is independently associated with lower vascular risk, and is likely a marker of overall healthy behavior that may be helpful in targeting stroke patients with unhealthy practices.
Adherence; Prescription; Compliance; Stroke, ischemic; Outcomes
Background and aim
As non‐randomised studies have suggested that surgical decompression may reduce mortality in patients with space occupying hemispheric infarction, randomisation may be considered unethical in controlled trials testing this treatment strategy. We studied differences in recall of information and in appreciation of the informed consent procedure between representatives included in the Hemicraniectomy After Middle cerebral artery infarction with Life‐threatening Edema Trial (HAMLET) and representatives of patients participating in the randomised trial of Paracetamol (Acetaminophen) In Stroke (PAIS).
1 year after study inclusion, we contacted 30 consecutive representatives who had given informed consent for participation of their relative in HAMLET, and 30 for PAIS. Recall of trial details and appreciation of the informed consent procedure were investigated using standardised questionnaires and compared between the two groups.
All 30 PAIS representatives and 28 HAMLET representatives were interviewed. Participation of their relative in a clinical trial was remembered by 86% of HAMLET and 40% of PAIS representatives (p<0.001). HAMLET representatives remembered more trial details (effect of the treatment under study (61% vs 3%, p<0.001); randomised treatment allocation (71% vs 0%, p<0.001)). With respect to appreciation of the informed consent procedure, we found no differences between the groups: in each trial, four representatives (14% vs 13%) had considered the question of randomisation unacceptable.
Participation of patients in a randomised controlled trial of surgical decompression for space occupying infarction is generally considered acceptable by their representatives, and recall of trial details is better than in a trial in which less vital issues are at stake.
Background: Paracetamol is a recommended symptomatic treatment of osteoarthritis (OA), but in clinical trials sample sizes have been relatively small and variable daily doses of paracetamol have been used.
Objectives: To determine the therapeutic efficacy of paracetamol in OA of the knee and identify predictive factors of clinical response to treatment.
Methods: A double blind, parallel group, placebo controlled trial of analgesic efficacy and safety of paracetamol versus placebo including 779 patients with OA of the knee. Patients were randomly assigned to receive paracetamol 4 g/day (n = 405) or placebo (n = 374) for 6 weeks. Symptomatic OA of the knee was required at inclusion with global pain intensity of the knee during physical activities for the past 24 hours of ⩾30 mm on a 100 mm visual analogue scale. The primary end point was a 30% decrease of global pain intensity of the knee. Intention to treat analyses were performed.
Results: The percentage of responders did not differ significantly between groups: 52.6% and 51.9% in paracetamol and placebo groups, respectively (p = 0.840). In a subgroup of patients with chronic mechanical knee pain without signs of inflammation (n = 123), the mean change in pain intensity from baseline was 25.2 mm v 15.2 mm, in the paracetamol (n = 63) and placebo (n = 60) groups, respectively—mean difference 10.0 mm; 95% CI 1.0 to 19.0; p = 0.0294. No serious adverse events were attributable to treatment.
Conclusion: A statistically significant symptomatic effect of oral paracetamol 4 g/day over placebo was not found, suggesting that paracetamol use in symptomatic OA of the knee should be further explored. The tolerability and safety of paracetamol, at the recommended maximum dose of 4 g/day, was confirmed over 6 weeks.
Considering that protocols of postoperative pain management would be planned regarding the facilities of each center or region and the importance of its proper management to reduce its related complication and improve patient's satisfaction, in this study we compared the effect of orally administrated tramadol and acetaminophen-codeine in this regard.
Materials and Methods:
In this prospective randomized double-blind clinical trial, 136 (68 in tramadol and 68 in acetaminophen codeine groups) ASA I and II patients scheduled for open cholecystectomy under general anaesthesia were enrolled. They randomly allocated to receive oral tramadol (50 mg capsule) or acetaminophen-codeine (325/10 mg) 1 hour before surgery. After surgery they evaluated for postoperative pain using VAS score, analgesic consumption and vomiting.
Mean of postoperative pain score during 24 hours after surgery was 2.1 ± 1.0 and 3.8 ± 2.0 in tramadol and acetaminophen-codeine groups, respectively (P < 0.05). Mean of analgesic consumption (morphine) during 24 hours after surgery was 6.2 ± 4.4 mg and 12.9 ± 5.7 mg in tramadol and acetaminophen-codeine groups, respectively (P < 0.05). Mean of vomiting during 24 hours after surgery was 1.2 ±0.9 and 0.4 ± 0.5 in tramadol and acetaminophen-codeine groups, respectively (P < 0.05).
The findings of current study indicated that in lower dose of tramadol (50 mg) and acetaminophen/codeine (325 mg/10 mg) the analgesic effect of tramadol is better and its side effects are higher than acetaminophen/codeine, which limit its use for mentioned purpose. It seems that administration of each of studied agents it depends on patients’ tolerance and decision of the physician.
Acetaminophen codeine; postoperative pain; tramadol
Meta-analysis usually restricts the information pooled, for instance using only randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials. This neglects other types of high quality information. This review explores using different information for the combination of paracetamol 1000 mg and codeine 60 mg in acute postoperative pain.
Randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials of paracetamol 1000 mg and codeine 60 mg had an NNT of 2.2 (95% confidence interval 1.7 to 2.9) for at least 50% pain relief over four to six hours in three trials with 197 patients. Computer simulation of randomised trials demonstrated 92% confidence that the simulated NNT was within ± 0.5 of the underlying value of 2.2 with this number of patients. The result was supported a rational dose-response relationship for different doses of paracetamol and codeine in 17 additional trials with 1,195 patients. Three controlled trials lacking a placebo and with 117 patients treated with of paracetamol 1000 mg and codeine 60 mg had 73% (95%CI 56% to 81%) of patients with at least 50% pain relief, compared with 57% (48% to 66%) in placebo controlled trials. Six trials in acute pain were omitted because of design issues, like the use of different pain measures or multiple dosing regimens. In each paracetamol 1000 mg and codeine 60 mg was shown to be better than placebo or comparators for at least one measure.
Different designs of high quality trials can be used to support limited information used in meta-analysis without recourse to low quality trials that might be biased.