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News1994March › Short takes › March 1994

Short takes

* Long term users of the migraine drug sumatriptan may end up totally dependent on it

* Long term users of the migraine drug sumatriptan may end up totally dependent on it. This new observation, made by doctors at the Royal Free Hospital in London, was based on the case of a 62 year old man who had taken sumatriptan for a year. After 10 months, he was taking the drug every morning to suppress a mild headache, but attempts at withdrawal resulted in a severe attack. BMJ, 8 January 1994.

* ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitors drugs used for heart patients can trigger asthma and other bronchial attacks within the first few weeks of use, a Swedish study has discovered. The reaction was rare but extreme, concludes the report of the University of Lund, in Dalby, Sweden. BMJ, 1 January 1994.

* The hepatitis B vaccine may not offer long term protection, states a study of two groups of health and public safety workers in Connecticut. Its efficacy has never been properly monitored because of poor post vaccine testing. Its protection seemed to decrease with time, and if the recipient was a smoker, obese and elderly. JAMA, 22-29 December 1993.


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