Author Interviews, Diabetes, Geriatrics, Stroke / 06.04.2019 Interview with: Philippe Girard, MD, Gérontopôle de Toulouse, CHU Toulouse Toulouse, France What is the background for this study? Response: The idea for this study came about in 2016 when a systematic review assessing acetaminophen’s adverse event (AEs) profile came out with results suggesting increased mortality and morbidity (Paracetamol: not as safe as we thought? A systematic literature review of observational studies, PMID: 25732175). Pr Yves Rolland had collected data from his IQUARE study (Improving the Quality of Care of Long-Stay Nursing Home Residents in France, PMID: 26782872) including all prescriptions from over 6000 nursing home residents and all their medical history over an 18 month follow-up period. We thought it would be a good idea to assess the safety profile of acetaminophen on this geriatric population.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Orthopedics, Pain Research / 19.03.2019 Interview with: Geoffrey Westrich, MD Director of Research Adult Reconstruction and Joint Replacement Service Hospital for Special Surgery NYC What is the background for this study? Response: Recent mortality trends in the U.S. associated with opioid use disorders have brought to the forefront of national debate the desirability of minimizing the use of potentially addictive pain management therapies.  Pain management after hip replacement surgery is an important part of patient care, and  opioids are frequently given as a major part of postoperative pain management. At the same time, multimodal analgesia, the administration of anesthetic agents and medications agents targeting multiple pain pathways, has seen increased popularity in pain management after hip replacement surgery.  At Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS), the multimodal protocol entails the use of several different anesthetic agents and medications both during and after surgery to control pain, minimize the use of opioids and reduce side effects. The use of non-opioid analgesics such as acetaminophen allows for a reduction in opioid administration after surgery [1]. Acetaminophen, commonly known as Tylenol, has traditionally been administered orally, but more recently an intravenous (IV) preparation has become available.  IV acetaminophen after major orthopedic surgery was shown to provide effective analgesia and reduce morphine administration by 33%, compared to placebo [2]. Unless a patient is unable to take acetaminophen, it is commonly used as part of the multimodal protocol due to its efficacy and minimal contraindications. Although intravenous (IV) acetaminophen presents pharmacokinetic benefits, such as increasing both serum blood and cerebrospinal fluid levels more rapidly, there is limited analysis of its potential clinical advantages compared to oral acetaminophen.  We hypothesized that there could be a reduction in pain with activity, opioid usage, or opioid- related side effects among patients receiving IV acetaminophen compared to oral acetaminophen following hip replacement surgery  (more…)
Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, NEJM / 05.10.2015

Dr. Paul Jeffrey Young MD Intensive Care Unit, Wellington Regional Hospital Wellington South, New Interview with: Dr. Paul Jeffrey Young MD Intensive Care Unit, Wellington Regional Hospital Wellington South, New Zealand Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Fever is a response to infection that is broadly conserved across many animal species and it seems reasonable to presume that the components of the immune response have adapted to function optimally in the physiological febrile range.  We have previously shown that among patients with fever and infection, increasing degrees of fever in the first 24 hours in ICU are generally associated with reducing mortality risk after adjusting for illness severity.  Although acetaminophen (paracetamol) is commonly used to treat fever in the ICU, there are no previous data to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of this practice.  The HEAT trial was designed by a group of ICU clinicians to test the hypothesis that treating fever with acetaminophen in critically ill patients with infections would worsen outcomes, or more specifically that it would reduce the number of days patients spent alive and free from requiring intensive care. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Response: The primary finding was that early administration of acetaminophen to treat fever did not alter the number of ICU-free days in adult ICU patients with infections.  The mortality rates of acetaminophen and placebo patients were similar.  Patients who received acetaminophen had lower body temperature than patients who received placebo and did not have significantly more adverse events.  Acetaminophen use was associated with a shorter ICU stay than placebo among survivors and a longer ICU stay among patients who died. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pain Research / 16.04.2015 Interview with: Geoff Durso PhD Candidate Department of Psychology The Ohio State University Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Recent research has shown that acetaminophen blunts negative emotions beyond those arising from physical pain (e.g., social rejection). We hypothesized that this was the case because acetaminophen was having a broader effect on individuals' evaluative and emotional processing, given past psychological theory (e.g., differential susceptibility, personality differences in emotionality, etc) and related neurological evidence (acetaminophen affects serotonin neurotransmission in the brain, reduces inflammatory signaling in the brain, and decreases activation in the brain areas responsible for emotion, for instance--any one or combination of these effects could be responsible for the psychological outcomes that we observe on individuals' blunted negative and positive evaluations). So we conducted two double-blind studies (neither participants nor experiments were aware of participants' assignment to condition). What we found was that participants taking an acute dose of acetaminophen (compared to those taking an inert placebo control) reported diminished negative evaluations of displeasing stimuli (photographs of starving children, wartorn city blocks, disgusting toilets) as well as diminished positive evaluations of pleasing stimuli (photographs of children playing with kittens, a large pile of money, a couple in bed together). Participants taking acetaminophen also reported experiencing diminished emotional responses to the photographs overall. These findings supported our predictions that acetaminophen works to reduce pain in part because it has a broader blunting effect on individuals' evaluations and emotional experience. (more…)