Saturday, February 27, 2010

Saturday hot tub reading

Okay, sitting in the hot tub with Marie today, and catching up my journals. This afternoon I learned that:

Patients taking 2 pain medications have less pain then patients taking only 1 pain medication (The Lancet (2009; 374: 1252-1261).

For my fellow U.S. citizens who are convinced that only our country wastes money on this stuff, the study was paid for by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

This is not meant as a slight to my northern colleagues, but simply to point out that pointless research is a universal human trait. If our prehistoric brethren had journals, I'm sure they'd have studies on how wood held in the air is easier to light on fire than wood being held underwater.

13 comments:

sandy shoes said...

I feel a bit silly asking, but is that really a "well, duh" conclusion? I wouldn't have known whether a high dose of one pain med would be more or less effective than lower doses of two different ones.

But hey, I studied rocks in school :).

(btw, hi, new reader, love yer blog.)

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Sandy- That's a good point, and in some respects not entirely "duh". Depends on the medications being used. In this study they used Nortriptyline and Gabapentin, both long established in efficacy for nerve pain.

Maybe it's just me who sees it as being obvious, and I could be wrong. But I hardly felt the results justified an expensive study or even a 9-page article. Surely there has to be something more medically important to be sinking research money into.

bb said...

You read all 9 pages?

Years ago I remember reading about a study on the effects of the environment of cows passing gas. That was us Americans that did that study and spent millions. I was in Australian on vacation and was reading their newspaper on their study. They studied the effects of cow burps on the environment.

I ended up in a silly and friendly debate with a couple of Australians on which of our countries had too much time on our hands. Well, at least between our two countries, both ends of cow's effects on the environment has been covered.

Happy Vegemite said...

This study actually makes a bit of sense to me. My headaches pain relief is far better if I take one asprin and one tylenol together rather than 2 tylenol or 2 asprin.

Li'l Azathoth said...

More likely, our prehistoric brethren would have had studies on how many humans you need to sacrifice in order to light wood that's been held underwater.

Chris@Knucklehead! said...

But what about three? Will that be even better?

Kat's Kats said...

When I was taking grad studies in Experimental Psych I can remember people bemoaning the problem of 'original research'. ::rolls eyes:: This is, of course, part of the problem. The other part is, I'm sorry to say, sheer stupidity.

Even among those who sat in the same classes as I, there were many times I would start pointing out study flaws when they began touting XYZ as being the best method for dealing with ABC. ::face:palm:: I wonder how much of it comes from not having logic taught in school. This was a periodic dinner table discussion at my house growing up. But then, we begin teaching logic to the children in my family as soon as they leave the hospital nursery.

Gert said...

Well, waddaya know! In hospice, we sometimes put patients on a combination of methadone and morphine, often over the objections of the pharmacists who really don't want us to do it. We know we get good results but it's nice to have a study to prove we've been right all along!

ian in hamburg said...

For best results, wash both down with Moosehead.

Anonymous said...

sorry, but most research is published to enrich the pharma industry and/or to pad the creds of the academics

RxDawg said...

Obecalp 100mg bid can work wonders

:)

Pharmacist Erin said...

I heard about a study (Swedish, I think) that the more children a woman has, the greater her risk for heart attack or stroke. That was a duh one for me. I'm adding that to my list of why I don't want kids. Haha

Anonymous said...

ian- know the worst thing about moosehead? ... antler burns on your thighs.

 
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