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BMJ Support Palliat Care 3:141-143 doi:10.1136/bmjspcare-2013-000478
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Articles of interest in other scholarly journals

  1. Jason Boland
  1. Senior Lecturer And Honorary Consultant In Palliative Medicine, Hull York Medical School, University Of Hull, UK
  1. Palliative Medicine, Hull York Medical School, University of Hull, Hull, UK

Gabapentin for refractory chronic cough: a double-blind, placebo-controlled randomised trial

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This study is the first double-blind, placebo-controlled randomised controlled trial to investigate gabapentin for the treatment of refractory chronic cough. In it, 62 adults with refractory chronic cough of over 2 months, who did not have active respiratory disease, were randomised to take either gabapentin (titrated up to 600 mg three times a day) or placebo for 10 weeks. Compared with placebo, gabapentin improved cough-specific quality of life (as measured by the Leicester cough questionnaire score) within 4 weeks of commencement. This improvement was maintained during the study period, but not sustained after cessation of gabapentin. Ten patients (31%) had side effects with gabapentin (most commonly nausea and fatigue) and three patients (10%) had side effects with placebo. This study concluded that the treatment of refractory chronic cough with gabapentin is effective and well tolerated, suggesting that central reflex sensitisation is an important mechanism.

Hydration in advanced cancer: can bioelectrical impedance analysis improve the evidence base? A systematic review of the literature

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This systematic review evaluated the evidence for methods of hydration assessment, including bioelectrical impedance analysis to assess hydration in advanced cancer. The review included 15 studies. The findings from these studies show that clinical examination and biochemical tests are often used to assess hydration; however, limitations exist with these and in patients with advanced cancer. Furthermore, there is not always consensus for the symptoms associated with dehydration in cancer. Although there are limitations with using bioelectrical impedance alone to assess hydration in advanced cancer (due to reduced intracellular water making inaccurate calculations from equations based on healthy people), analysis of the raw bioelectrical impedance measurements using vector analysis may have a role as a hydration assessment tool in patients …

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