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Medication Mythbusters – Home of the Best Science (BS) Medicine Podcast

Episode 14: Listener Mail: Addressing the Questions and Confusion

In episode 14 we attempt to answer some of the mail received from listeners. We talk about using the evidence to promote shared decision-making. We review calculating risk, the limitations of risk calculators and presenting the data in the positive (chance of not having an event). We address heart disease as the leading cause of mortality (despite advancement in treatment) and emerging discussions of statin use in children (age ?8). We unwrap these enigmas to create more confusion.

Show Notes

1) Some references showing high cholesterol in patients over age 75-80 is not necessarily associated with increased mortality or sometimes not even increased cardiovascular disease.

Ann Epidemiol 2004;14:705–21

JAMA 1994;272:1335-40

Ann Int Med 1997;126:753-60

J Am Geriatr Soc 2004;52:1639-47

Arch Int Med 2003;163:1549-54

J Am Geriatr Soc 2005;53:2159-64

J Am Geriatr Soc 2005;53:219-26

2) Treatment of hypertension in patients 80 years of age or older reduces the chance of a cardiovascular event by 3% over 2 years

NEJM 2008;358:1887-98

Episode 13: Butt-Out:Silencing “The Smoking Gun” in Health

In our 13th episode, we discuss smoking cessation. We present the impressive benefits in hard outcomes when people stop smoking. We then go through the list of interventions, from brief advice to the pharmaceutical options of nicotine replacement, two anti-depressants (Buproprion or Nortiriptyline) and the newest agent, Varenicline. Dosing, cessation rates and adverse events are reviewed (for medications, not cigarettes: that dose is zero).

Show Notes

1) Intensive smoking cessation intervention reduces mortality in high-risk smokers with cardiovascular disease

Chest 2007; 131: 446–52.

2) Listening empathetically and asking if they are ready to quit smoking

Silagy C, Ketteridge S. The effectiveness of physician advice to aid smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 1998. Issue 2

3) Bupropion at a dose of 150 mg daily works as well as 300 mg daily

New Engl J Med 1997; 337:1195-202

4) Nortriptyline and bupropion for smoking cessation

Antidepressants for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2007, Issue 1

5) Varenicline for smoking cessation

Nicotine receptor partial agonists for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2008. Issue 3

Episode 12: Getting Hyper Tense about Monitoring

In our 12th episode, we divide and conquer the remaining points around hypertension. In section A, we talk about monitoring blood pressure: frequency, reliability and home monitoring are all discussed. In section B, we talk about the potential side-effects of different hypertension therapies and the need to monitor for biochemical-metabolic effects. In the end, Mike is hyper and James is tense but both need therapy.

Show Notes

1) Effect of home blood pressure monitoring on blood pressure

BMJ 2004;329:145

2) Hypokalemia and metabolic effects of thiazides are dose related

BMJ 1990;300:975

3) Cardioselective beta-blockers in mild-moderate asthma and COPD Cardioselective beta-blockers in asthma

Ann Intern Med. 2002;137:715-725

Cardioselective beta-blockers in COPD

Cochrane library

Other resources

Episode 11: Taking the Pressure off: Other Drugs

In our 11th episode, we discuss the laundry list of the remaining hypertensive medications and their evidence. The issue of blood pressure as a surrogate marker is discussed and we encourage clinicians to focus on hypertensive agents that effect patient oriented outcomes. While the evidence is reasonable for Ca+ Blocker, we put Beta-blockers low down (and Atenolol off) the list with Alpha-blockers and a few others.We have few laughs along the way, primarily at our lack of humor.

Show Notes

1) Atenolol no better than placebo and other drugs are better than atenolol in reducing cardiovascular outcomes in patents with high blood pressure

Lancet 2004;364:1684–9

2) Beta-blockers do appear to increase the chance of developing diabetes

Am J Cardiol 2007;100:1254–62

3) A debate on using or not using betablockers for high blood pressure

Can Fam Physician 2007;53:614-7

4) ALLHAT – the problem with alpha-blockers

JAMA 2000;283:1967-75

5) Data for felodipine and cardiovascular events in patients with high blood pressure

Lancet 1998;351:1755-62

6) Use of low-dose spironolactone in “resistant” hypertension

Amer J Hyper 2003;16:925–30

7) Effect of spironolactone on albuminuria

Diabetes Care 2005;28:2106–12

Episode 10: Taking the Pressure Off: ACE Inhibitors

In our tenth episode, we discuss our second choice of hyperåtensive medication agent, the ACE inhibitor. We review dosing and renal protection (briefly) before agreeing our choice is based mostly on once a day adminstration and costs. We look at substituting with ARBs but not combining with ARBs (with possible exception of co-morbid CHF). Throughout the podcast, James disagrees with Mike on a variety of issues, more on principle than fact.

Show Notes

1) A meta-analysis of ACE inhibitors/ARBs versus other antihypertensive drugs on renal outcomes – in diabetics, no difference in end-stage renal disease or doubling of creatinine – albuminuria was reduced but remember this is a surrogate endpoint

Lancet 2005;366:2026-33

2) Telmisartan produced the same outcome as ramipril in diabetics – the combination did not add benefit but increased adverse events

N Engl J Med 2008;358:1547-59

3) Combining ACEs and ARBs in heart failure did produce a benefit

Lancet. 2003;362:767-71

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11th Annual PEIP Conference October 21-22, 2022

Practical Evidence for Informed Practice Conference | October 21 & 22, 2022
Led by the team that brings you Tools for Practice, the Practical Evidence for
Informed Practice (PEIP) Conference brings together clinical leaders to speak on
the latest findings that can affect how you practice.

www.peipconference.ca

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