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1.
Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf ; 2022 Apr 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1797776

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Women infected with SARS-CoV-2 during pregnancy are at increased risk of developing severe illness and experience a higher rate of preterm births than pregnant women who are not infected. The use of innovative or repurposed therapies to treat COVID-19 patients is widespread; however, there are very limited data regarding the patterns of use and safety profile of most of these therapeutics in pregnant women. We assessed the patterns of use of COVID-19 therapeutics during pregnancy using data from the International Registry of Coronavirus in Pregnancy (IRCEP). METHODS: The IRCEP is an international observational cohort study intended to assess the risk of major obstetric and neonatal outcomes among pregnant women with COVID-19. Women enrolled while pregnant or within 6 months after end of pregnancy. Follow-up for women enrolled while pregnant includes monthly online questionnaires throughout the pregnancy and, for livebirths, through the infant's first 90 days of life. Participants provide information on demographic characteristics, health history, COVID-19 tests and symptoms, medications, and obstetric and neonatal outcomes. RESULTS: A total of 5780 women with COVID-19 during pregnancy were identified from the IRCEP. Severity of COVID-19 was classified in 372 of them as severe, 3053 moderate, and 2355 mild. The most frequently reported COVID-19 therapies, other than analgesics, included azithromycin (12.8%), steroids (3.5%), interferon (2.4%), oseltamivir (2.1%), chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine (1.7%), anticoagulants (2.0%), antibodies (0.9%), and remdesivir (0.3%). Most drugs were preferentially used for severe cases. Patterns of use varied by country. CONCLUSIONS: IRCEP participants reported use of therapeutics for COVID-19 during pregnancy for which there is little safety information. Findings on COVID-19 pharmacotherapy utilization patterns can guide future studies examining the safety of COVID-19 therapies during pregnancy. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

2.
Biomedica ; 42(2):1-34, 2022.
Article in Spanish | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-1790166

ABSTRACT

Introduction: The inappropriate use of antibiotics is associated with greater antimicrobial resistance, health care costs, adverse events, and worse clinical outcomes. Objective: To determine the prescription patterns and approved and non-approved indications of macrolides in a group of patients from Colombia. Materials and methods: a cross-sectional study on the indications for the use of macrolides in outpatients based on a drug dispensing database of approximately 8.5 million people affiliated with the Colombian Health System. Sociodemographic, pharmacological and clinical variables were considered. Results: 9344 patients were identified with some macrolide prescription, with a median age of 40.1 years [interquartile range: 27.1-53.3 years] and 58.3% women. The most commonly prescribed macrolide was azithromycin (38.8%) and the most frequently found uses were Helicobacter pylori infection (15.9%) and pneumonia treatment (15.8%). 31.3% of prescriptions were used for unapproved indications, with the common cold (7.8%), COVID-19 (4.0%), and acute bronchitis (3.5%) standing out. Reside in the Caribbean region (OR:1.17;95%CI:1.05-1.31), dental prescriptions (OR:2.75;95 degrees ACI:1.91-3.96), have chronic respiratory comorbidities (OR:1.30;95 degrees ACI:1.08-1.56), prescribe erythromycin (OR:3.66;95%CI:3.24-4.14) or azithromycin (OR:2.15;95%CI:1,92-2.41), were associated with a higher probability of receiving them for unapproved indications, but being between 18-64 years old (OR:0.81;95 degrees ACI:0.71-0.93), 65 or more years (OR:0.77;95%CI:0.63-0.94) and residing in Bogota-Cundinamarca (OR:0.74;95%CI:0.65-0.85) reduced this risk. Conclusions: Most patients have received macrolides for respiratory tract infections;however, erythromycin and azithromycin are being used in unapproved indications in people under 18 years of age, and those with chronic respiratory diseases.

3.
Ther Adv Drug Saf ; 13: 20420986221072376, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1770143

ABSTRACT

Aim: Quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic altered the supply and demand of health services. This, together with the 'infodemic' and generalized panic, could alter the patterns of self-medication in the population. The objective was to characterize the patterns of self-medication in four cities of Colombia during mandatory preventive isolation in 2020. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study done in four Colombian cities during mandatory national preventive isolation between June and September 2020. A sample of 397 adults who responded to an online survey, based on the Instrument for Systematic Data Collection for Self-medication (Instrumento de Recolección Sistemática de Datos para la Automedicación-IRIS-AM), was obtained. The use of social networks (including WhatsApp) as the source of information about medications was explored. Results: The 397 people surveyed had a median age of 31.0 years, and 58.2% were women. The prevalence of self-medication during lockdown was 34.3% (n = 136). Medications targeting the nervous system (n = 117; 86.0% of those participants with self-medication) and the musculoskeletal system (n = 68; 50.0%) were the most commonly used. Ten (7.4%) of the self-medicated patients reported doing so to prevent COVID-19, and 15 (11.0%) named social networks as the source of information. Conclusion: More than one-third of the participants reported self-medication during COVID-19 lockdown, mainly with analgesic-type nervous system medications. People who reported self-medication to prevent COVID-19 often got their information from social networks, the Internet, and WhatsApp. Plain Language Summary: Self-medication during mandatory COVID-19 isolation: Introduction: Self-medication refers to the use of medications to treat self-diagnosed disorders or symptoms, and it can lead to health problems. This habit is widely practiced by the people, especially in low- and middle-income countries. The objective was to characterize the patterns of self-medication in four cities of Colombia during mandatory preventive isolation in 2020 due the quarantine by COVID-19 explored pandemic. Methods: We made a cross-sectional study between June and September 2020, and a sample of 397 adults who responded to an online survey. The use of social networks (including WhatsApp) as the source of information about medications was explored. Results: The prevalence of self-medication during lockdown was 34.3% (n = 136). Medications targeting the nervous system (n = 117; 86.0% of those participants with self-medication) and the musculoskeletal system (strategies n = 68; 50.0%) were the most commonly used. Conclusion: People who reported self-medication to prevent COVID-19 often got their information from social networks, the Internet, and WhatsApp. These findings raise the possibility of designing pedagogical strategies on this topic.

4.
Antibiotics (Basel) ; 11(3)2022 Mar 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1731894

ABSTRACT

The impact of COVID-19 prompted a race to find a treatment that would reduce its mortality. Most studies have not shown favorable results for many of these drugs, but they are still used. The aim as to determine the differences and similarities in the hospital pharmacological management of patients with COVID-19 according to sex, age group, and geographical region of Colombia, 2020-2021. Descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted on the prescription patterns of the medications given to patients diagnosed with COVID-19 treated in eight clinics in Colombia between 6 March 2020 and 31 May 2021. We performed a descriptive analysis of the sociodemographic, clinical, and pharmacological variables of the patients. A total of 8596 patients from 170 cities were identified, with a median age of 53.0 years and 53.3% of them men. A total of 24.3% required care in the intensive care unit, and 18.7% required invasive mechanical ventilation. The most commonly used drugs for the treatment of COVID-19 were systemic corticosteroids (63.6%), followed by colchicine (12.8%), azithromycin (8.9%), and ivermectin (6.4%). Corticosteroids, anticoagulants, colchicine, azithromycin, ivermectin, and hydroxychloroquine were prescribed more frequently in men, and their overall use increased with age. There were differences in prescriptions between geographic regions. The majority of patients were managed with medications included in the management guidelines. There were differences between sexes, age groups, and geographical regions.

5.
Addiction ; 117(1): 205-206, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1723004
6.
J Pers Med ; 12(2)2022 Jan 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1715464

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Antidepressants are the foundation of the treatment of major depressive disorders. Despite the scientific evidence, there is still a sustained debate and concern about the efficacy of antidepressants, with widely differing opinions among the population about their positive and negative effects, which may condition people's attitudes towards such treatments. Our aim is to investigate Twitter posts about antidepressants in order to have a better understanding of the social consideration of antidepressants. METHODS: We gathered public tweets mentioning antidepressants written in English, published throughout a 22-month period, between 1 January 2019 and 31 October 2020. We analysed the content of each tweet, determining in the first place whether they included medical aspects or not. Those with medical content were classified into four categories: general aspects, such as quality of life or mood, sleep-related conditions, appetite/weight issues and aspects around somatic alterations. In non-medical tweets, we distinguished three categories: commercial nature (including all economic activity, drug promotion, education or outreach), help request/offer, and drug trivialization. In addition, users were arranged into three categories according to their nature: patients and relatives, caregivers, and interactions between Twitter users. Finally, we identified the most mentioned antidepressants, including the number of retweets and likes, which allowed us to measure the impact among Twitter users. RESULTS: The activity in Twitter concerning antidepressants is mainly focused on the effects these drugs may have on certain health-related areas, specifically sleep (20.87%) and appetite/weight (8.95%). Patients and relatives are the type of user that most frequently posts tweets with medical content (65.2%, specifically 80% when referencing sleep and 78.6% in the case of appetite/weight), whereas they are responsible for only 2.9% of tweets with non-medical content. Among tweets classified as non-medical in this study, the most common subject was drug trivialization (66.86%). Caregivers barely have any presence in conversations in Twitter about antidepressants (3.5%). However, their tweets rose more interest among other users, with a ratio 11.93 times higher than those posted by patients and their friends and family. Mirtazapine is the most mentioned antidepressant in Twitter (45.43%), with a significant difference with the rest, agomelatine (11.11%). CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that Twitter users that take antidepressants, or their friends and family, use social media to share medical information about antidepressants. However, other users that do not talk about antidepressants from a personal or close experience, frequently do so in a stigmatizing manner, by trivializing them. Our study also brings to light the scarce presence of caregivers in Twitter.

7.
Säo Paulo med. j ; 140(2): 250-260, Jan.-Feb. 2022. tab, graf
Article in English | WHO COVID, LILACS (Americas) | ID: covidwho-1686196

ABSTRACT

Abstract BACKGROUND: During the COVID-19 pandemic, universities have had to adopt remote education, a strategy that caused sudden changes of routine for everyone involved in academia. OBJECTIVE: To assess the profile of medicine use by the employees of a Brazilian public university during the COVID-19 pandemic. DESIGN AND SETTING: Cross-sectional study at a Brazilian public university. METHODS: Employees were invited to answer an online self-administered questionnaire, containing questions on sociodemographic features, medicine use, mental health and lifestyle habits during the COVID-19 pandemic. The outcome variable was the use of medicines stratified according to occupation. Descriptive, bivariate and multivariate (Poisson regression) statistical analyses were performed. RESULTS: A total of 372 employees participated in the study and use of medicine was reported by 53.2%. Among professors, suicide attempts (prevalence ratio [PR], 1.81; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.20-2.74), physical activity (PR, 1.53; 95% CI, 1.11-2.11) and poor self-rated health (PR, 1.29; 95% CI, 1.01-1.66); and among technicians, decreased workload during the COVID-19 pandemic (PR, 1.41; 95% CI, 1.00-1.99), excess body weight (PR, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.02-1.88) and poor self-rated health (PR, 1.48; 95% CI, 1.14-1.92) were positively associated with use of medicines. In addition, among technicians, engaging in physical activity (PR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.46-0.78) was a protective factor against medicine use. CONCLUSION: The profile of medicine use among these employees was similar to that of the Brazilian population. However, some associated factors may have been influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic, thus highlighting the need to examine this topic in a longitudinal study.

8.
J Pers Med ; 12(2)2022 Jan 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1667226

ABSTRACT

In Italy, during the COVID-19 waves two lockdowns were implemented to prevent virus diffusion in the general population. Data on antidepressant (AD) use in these periods are still scarce. This study aimed at exploring the impact of COVID-19 lockdowns on prevalence and incidence of antidepressant drug use in the general population. A population-based study using the healthcare administrative database of Tuscany was performed. We selected a dynamic cohort of subjects with at least one ADs dispensing from 1 January 2018 to 27 December 2020. The weekly prevalence and incidence of drug use were estimated across different segments: pre-lockdown (1 January 2018-8 March 2020), first lockdown (9 March 2020-15 June 2020), post-first lockdown (16 June 2020-15 November 2020) and second lockdown (16 November 2020-27 December 2020). An interrupted time-series analysis was used to assess the effect of lockdowns on the observed outcomes. Compared to the pre-lockdown we observed an abrupt reduction of ADs incidence (Incidence-Ratio: 0.82; 95% Confidence-Intervals: 0.74-0.91) and a slight weekly decrease of prevalence (Prevalence-Ratio: 0.997; 0.996-0.999). During the post-first lockdown AD use increased, with higher incidence- and similar prevalence values compared with those expected in the absence of the outbreak. This pandemic has impacted AD drug use in the general population with potential rebound effects during the period between waves. This calls for future studies aimed at exploring the mid-long term effects of this phenomenon.

9.
Saudi Pharm J ; 2022 Jan 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1654831

ABSTRACT

Background: Since the World Health Organization declared coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as a pandemic, most countries started treating their patients with various therapies. However, the data regarding their safety and effectiveness is still lacking. Objectives: We aimed to evaluate the adverse drug reactions (ADRs) incidence and their predisposing factors among COVID-19 patients. Methods: A retrospective observational study that was conducted at a tertiary academic hospital from March - June 2020. Patients were included if they were ≥ 18 years old, inpatient, had a reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) positive for COVID-19, and were treated with; (lopinavir-ritonavir, hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine, favipiravir, ribavirin, or interferon-ß) either as monotherapy or combination therapy for three days or longer. The data of eligible patients were retrieved from the electronic medical records. A standardized data collection form was designed to collect patient demographics, COVID-19 severity based on the Saudi Ministry of Health management protocols, antiviral therapies, duration of therapy, and length of stay (LOS). The ADRs were identified via conducting a comprehensive review using predefined triggers and were evaluated using Naranjo Score. Results: A total of 155 patients were included of which 123 (79.4%) were males. In our sample, the incidence proportion of ADRs per patient was 72.3%. A total of 287 ADRs were identified most of them were hepatic (n = 101, 35.2%), gastrointestinal (n = 59, 20.6%), hematological (n = 47, 16%), and endocrine (n = 45, 15%). Hydroxychloroquine was the most common drug associated with ADRs (n = 155). The length of stay (10 - 20 days) was the only statistically significant with the ADR incidence (p-value = 0.008; 95 %CI 1.216:3.568). Conclusions: The ADRs are prevalent among COVID-19 patients, which assure the importance of implementing active hospital-based pharmacovigilance systems.

10.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(3)2022 01 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1650743

ABSTRACT

Insight into the epidemiology of perinatal medication use during the COVID-19 pandemic is scarce. Therefore, a cross-sectional study using an anonymous web survey was performed in Ireland, Norway, Switzerland, The Netherlands, and United Kingdom (UK) to investigate the prevalence and type of medications used by pregnant and breast-feeding women during the first pandemic wave. Factors associated with medication use were estimated by logistic regression. In total, 8378 women participated (i.e., 3666 pregnant and 4712 breastfeeding women). Most responses were collected in Norway (34%) and The Netherlands (28%), followed by Switzerland (19%), Ireland (17%) and UK (2%). Participants were more often professionally active and more often had a higher educational level compared to the general birthing population in each country. Overall, approximately 60% of women reported having used at least 1 medication in the preceding 3 months. Daily and occasional use was reported by 34% and 42% of pregnant and 29% and 44% of breastfeeding women. The most prevalent ATC (Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical) categories were the nervous system, the respiratory system, the alimentary tract/metabolism, and the musculo-skeletal system. Paracetamol, ibuprofen, antacids, and cetirizine were the most frequently used medications. The rate of antibacterial use was lower than previously reported. Having a chronic illness, country, maternal age, SARS-CoV-2 testing, professional status and time since delivery were associated with medication use. In conclusion, perinatal medication use was highly prevalent during the first pandemic wave, underlining the importance of maintaining counseling efforts on medication use, even in times of disrupted healthcare services and/or limited resources.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Breast Feeding , COVID-19 Testing , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Pregnancy , Pregnant Women , SARS-CoV-2 , Self Report
11.
Sci Total Environ ; 820: 153122, 2022 May 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1631777

ABSTRACT

The city of Vitoria-Gasteiz was one of the probable first entrances of the SARS-CoV2 in Spain, one of the worst affected countries in the world during the first COVID 19 wave. Driven by the urgency of the situation, multiple drugs with antiviral activity were used off label. Sadly, most of these treatments were of little or no benefit and thus, the number of patients suffering from COVID-19 attended in intensive care units (ICUs) multiplied. After being administered to patients, a variable proportion of these drugs reach the environment where they may have detrimental effects, although this aspect is usually ignored by healthcare professionals. In this study we measured the patterns of hospital drug use in the city of Vitoria-Gasteiz (Spain) during the first COVID-19 wave pandemic, focusing on those with antiviral activity and those used in the ICUs. Subsequently, we measured concentrations of selected drugs in the city's wastewater treatment plant influent and effluent and estimated the potential risk for the environment. The hospital use of certain antivirals and drugs used for sedo-analgesia were dramatically increased during the first wave (cisatracurium was multiplied by 25 and lopinavir/ritonavir by 20). A mean of 1.632 daily defined doses of hydroxychloroquine were used during the period of February-May 2020. In this study we report the first positive detection of hydroxychloroquine ever in the environment. We also show the second positive report of lopinavir. Low risk was estimated for hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir and ritonavir (Risk quotients (RQ) <1), and medium risk for azithromycin (RQ 0f 0.146).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Antiviral Agents , COVID-19/epidemiology , Drug Combinations , Humans , Pandemics , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2 , Spain/epidemiology
12.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(24)2021 12 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580725

ABSTRACT

Australia spends more than $20 billion annually on medicines, delivering significant health benefits for the population. However, inappropriate prescribing and medicine use also result in harm to individuals and populations, and waste of precious health resources. Medication data linked with other routine collections enable evidence generation in pharmacoepidemiology; the science of quantifying the use, effectiveness and safety of medicines in real-world clinical practice. This review details the history of medicines policy and data access in Australia, the strengths of existing data sources, and the infrastructure and governance enabling and impeding evidence generation in the field. Currently, substantial gaps persist with respect to cohesive, contemporary linked data sources supporting quality use of medicines, effectiveness and safety research; exemplified by Australia's limited capacity to contribute to the global effort in real-world studies of vaccine and disease-modifying treatments for COVID-19. We propose a roadmap to bolster the discipline, and population health more broadly, underpinned by a distinct capability governing and streamlining access to linked data assets for accredited researchers. Robust real-world evidence generation requires current data roadblocks to be remedied as a matter of urgency to deliver efficient and equitable health care and improve the health and well-being of all Australians.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Australia , Forecasting , Humans , Pharmacoepidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
13.
Psychol Med ; : 1-7, 2021 Dec 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1569190

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Previous studies have shown a negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated sanitary measures on mental health, especially among adolescents and young adults. Such a context may raise many concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic long-term psychological effects. An analysis of administrative databases could be an alternative and complementary approach to medical interview-based epidemiological surveys to monitor the mental health of the population. We conducted a nationwide study to describe the consumption of anxiolytics, antidepressants and hypnotics during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, compared to the five previous years. METHODS: A historic cohort study was conducted by extracting and analysing data from the French health insurance database between 1 January 2015 and 28 February 2021. Individuals were classified into five age-based classes. Linear regression models were performed to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic period on the number of drug consumers, in introducing an interaction term between time and COVID-19 period. RESULTS: Since March 2020, in all five age groups and all three drug categories studied, the number of patients reimbursed weekly has increased compared to the period from January 2015 to February 2020. The youngest the patients, the more pronounced the magnitude. CONCLUSIONS: Monitoring the consumption of psychiatric medications could be of great interest as reliable indicators are essential for planning public health strategies. A post-crisis policy including reliable monitoring of mental health must be anticipated.

14.
Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol ; 130(2): 225-239, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1528358

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic is a highly dramatic concern for mankind. In Italy, the pandemic exerted its major impact throughout the period of February to June 2020. To date, the awkward amount of more than 134,000 deaths has been reported. Yet, post-mortem autopsy was performed on a very modest number of patients who died from COVID-19 infection, leading to a first confirmation of an immune-thrombosis of the lungs as the major COVID-19 pathogenesis, likewise for SARS. Since then (June-August 2020), no targeted early therapy considering this pathogenetic issue was approached. The patients treated with early anti-inflammatory, anti-platelet, anticoagulant and antibiotic therapy confirmed that COVID-19 was an endothelial inflammation with immuno-thrombosis. Patients not treated or scarcely treated with the most proper and appropriate therapy and in the earliest, increased the hospitalization rate in the intensive care units and also mortality, due to immune-thrombosis from the pulmonary capillary district and alveoli. The disease causes widespread endothelial inflammation, which can induce damage to various organs and systems. Therapy must be targeted in this consideration, and in this review, we demonstrate how early anti-inflammatory therapy may treat endothelia inflammation and immune-thrombosis caused by COVID-19, by using drugs we are going to recommend in this paper.


Subject(s)
Anti-Inflammatory Agents/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Home Care Services , Hospitalization , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Time-to-Treatment , Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Anticoagulants/therapeutic use , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/virology , Clinical Decision-Making , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Patient Selection , Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Treatment Outcome
15.
Am J Epidemiol ; 190(11): 2405-2419, 2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1493668

ABSTRACT

Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) was proposed as an early therapy for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) after in vitro studies indicated possible benefit. Previous in vivo observational studies have presented conflicting results, though recent randomized clinical trials have reported no benefit from HCQ among patients hospitalized with COVID-19. We examined the effects of HCQ alone and in combination with azithromycin in a hospitalized population of US veterans with COVID-19, using a propensity score-adjusted survival analysis with imputation of missing data. According to electronic health record data from the US Department of Veterans Affairs health care system, 64,055 US Veterans were tested for the virus that causes COVID-19 between March 1, 2020 and April 30, 2020. Of the 7,193 veterans who tested positive, 2,809 were hospitalized, and 657 individuals were prescribed HCQ within the first 48-hours of hospitalization for the treatment of COVID-19. There was no apparent benefit associated with HCQ receipt, alone or in combination with azithromycin, and there was an increased risk of intubation when HCQ was used in combination with azithromycin (hazard ratio = 1.55; 95% confidence interval: 1.07, 2.24). In conclusion, we assessed the effectiveness of HCQ with or without azithromycin in treatment of patients hospitalized with COVID-19, using a national sample of the US veteran population. Using rigorous study design and analytic methods to reduce confounding and bias, we found no evidence of a survival benefit from the administration of HCQ.


Subject(s)
Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Azithromycin/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , Veterans/statistics & numerical data , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Anti-Bacterial Agents/adverse effects , Azithromycin/adverse effects , COVID-19/mortality , Drug Therapy, Combination , Female , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine/adverse effects , Intention to Treat Analysis , Machine Learning , Male , Middle Aged , Pharmacoepidemiology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome , United States/epidemiology
16.
J Epidemiol Community Health ; 76(4): 335-340, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1463027

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the population's mental health. However, its impact on the consumption of anxiolytics, sedatives, hypnotics and antidepressants remains to be evaluated. Hence, this article aims to assess the prescription trends of these drugs in Portugal, from January 2018 to March 2021, while critically examining whether the COVID-19 pandemic had an impact on these prescription trends or not. METHODS: A nationwide interrupted time-series analysis of the prescription data of anxiolytics, sedatives, hypnotics and antidepressants in outpatient setting of the public health sector was conducted. The data encompassed the defined daily dose per month, age range and sex and were analysed following a segmented regression approach. RESULTS: The pandemic preceded an immediate reduction in the prescription of anxiolytics, sedatives and hypnotics for children and adolescents. However, an increasing trend throughout the pandemic has been noted in the prescription of these drugs, especially among adults aged 65 years or above. A drop in antidepressant prescription was observed as an immediate effect of the pandemic among male and female adolescents and elderly women. From March 2020 to March 2021, a decreasing prescription trend has been noted among men. CONCLUSIONS: When analysing specific genders and age ranges, differences can be noted, in terms of both immediate impact and prescribing trends throughout 1 year of the COVID-19 pandemic. The impact of the pandemic on mental health and its association with the consumption trends of psychoactive drugs, and with the access to mental health treatments, should be further assessed.


Subject(s)
Anti-Anxiety Agents , COVID-19 , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Anti-Anxiety Agents/therapeutic use , Antidepressive Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Drug Prescriptions , Female , Humans , Hypnotics and Sedatives/therapeutic use , Male , Outpatients , Pandemics , Portugal/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
17.
BMJ Qual Saf ; 2021 Sep 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1408532

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 has had a detrimental impact on access to hip and knee arthroplasty surgery. We set out to examine whether this had a subsequent impact on preoperative opioid prescribing rates for those awaiting surgery. METHODS: Data regarding patient demographics and opioid utilisation were collected from the electronic health records of included patients at a large university teaching hospital. Patients on the outpatient waiting list for primary hip and knee arthroplasty as of September 2020 (COVID-19 group) were compared with historical controls (Controls) who had previously undergone surgery. A sample size calculation indicated 452 patients were required to detect a 15% difference in opioid prescription rates between groups. RESULTS: A total of 548 patients (58.2% female) were included, 260 in the COVID-19 group and 288 in the Controls. Baseline demographics were similar between the groups. For those with data available, the proportion of patients on any opioid at follow-up in the COVID-19 group was significantly higher: 55.0% (143/260) compared with 41.2% (112/272) in the Controls (p=0.002). This remained significant when adjusted for confounding (age, gender, Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation, procedure and wait time). The proportion of patients on a strong opioid was similar (4.2% (11/260) vs 4.8% (13/272)) for COVID-19 and Controls, respectively. The median waiting time from referral to follow-up was significantly longer in the COVID-19 group compared with the Controls (455 days vs 365 days; p<0.0001). CONCLUSION: The work provides evidence of potential for an emerging opioid problem associated with the influence of COVID-19 on elective arthroplasty services. Viable alternatives to opioid analgesia for those with end-stage arthritis should be explored, and prolonged waiting times for surgery ought to be avoided in the recovery from COVID-19 to prevent more widespread opioid use.

18.
Am J Epidemiol ; 190(11): 2405-2419, 2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1393147

ABSTRACT

Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) was proposed as an early therapy for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) after in vitro studies indicated possible benefit. Previous in vivo observational studies have presented conflicting results, though recent randomized clinical trials have reported no benefit from HCQ among patients hospitalized with COVID-19. We examined the effects of HCQ alone and in combination with azithromycin in a hospitalized population of US veterans with COVID-19, using a propensity score-adjusted survival analysis with imputation of missing data. According to electronic health record data from the US Department of Veterans Affairs health care system, 64,055 US Veterans were tested for the virus that causes COVID-19 between March 1, 2020 and April 30, 2020. Of the 7,193 veterans who tested positive, 2,809 were hospitalized, and 657 individuals were prescribed HCQ within the first 48-hours of hospitalization for the treatment of COVID-19. There was no apparent benefit associated with HCQ receipt, alone or in combination with azithromycin, and there was an increased risk of intubation when HCQ was used in combination with azithromycin (hazard ratio = 1.55; 95% confidence interval: 1.07, 2.24). In conclusion, we assessed the effectiveness of HCQ with or without azithromycin in treatment of patients hospitalized with COVID-19, using a national sample of the US veteran population. Using rigorous study design and analytic methods to reduce confounding and bias, we found no evidence of a survival benefit from the administration of HCQ.


Subject(s)
Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Azithromycin/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , Veterans/statistics & numerical data , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Anti-Bacterial Agents/adverse effects , Azithromycin/adverse effects , COVID-19/mortality , Drug Therapy, Combination , Female , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine/adverse effects , Intention to Treat Analysis , Machine Learning , Male , Middle Aged , Pharmacoepidemiology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome , United States/epidemiology
20.
Front Pharmacol ; 12: 700776, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1359214

ABSTRACT

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, pharmaceutical treatment hypotheses have abounded, each requiring careful evaluation. A randomized controlled trial generally provides the most credible evaluation of a treatment, but the efficiency and effectiveness of the trial depend on the existing evidence supporting the treatment. The researcher must therefore compile a body of evidence justifying the use of time and resources to further investigate a treatment hypothesis in a trial. An observational study can provide this evidence, but the lack of randomized exposure and the researcher's inability to control treatment administration and data collection introduce significant challenges. A proper analysis of observational health care data thus requires contributions from experts in a diverse set of topics ranging from epidemiology and causal analysis to relevant medical specialties and data sources. Here we summarize these contributions as 10 rules that serve as an end-to-end introduction to retrospective pharmacoepidemiological analyses of observational health care data using a running example of a hypothetical COVID-19 study. A detailed supplement presents a practical how-to guide for following each rule. When carefully designed and properly executed, a retrospective pharmacoepidemiological analysis framed around these rules will inform the decisions of whether and how to investigate a treatment hypothesis in a randomized controlled trial. This work has important implications for any future pandemic by prescribing what we can and should do while the world waits for global vaccine distribution.

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