Browsing by Subject "zinc lozenges"

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  • Louhiala, Pekka; Hemilä, Harri (2014)
    In this article, we first take a critical look at the definitions of evidence-based medicine (EBM) and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). We then explore the question of whether there can be evidence-based forms of CAM. With the help of three examples, we show that EBM and CAM are not opposites, but rather concepts pointing at different dimensions. Each of the three examples is an evidence-based treatment according to three to five randomised, double-blind placebo controlled trials with consistent findings and narrow pooled confidence intervals. The most reasonable interpretation for the existence of evidence-based CAM treatments seems to be that the opposite of CAM is ‘mainstream medicine’, and the demarcation line between CAM and mainstream medicine is not simply defined by the question of whether a treatment works or not. Some effective treatments may belong to the CAM domain for historical reasons and because of preconceptions within mainstream medicine. Therefore, some treatments that currently lie outside mainstream medicine can be evidence-based.
  • Hemilä, Harri (2013)
    Feedback to the following Cochrane review: Jefferson T, et al.: Neuraminidase inhibitors for preventing and treating influenza in healthy adults and children. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Jan 18;1:CD008965
  • Hemilä, Harri (2011)
    Feedback to the following Cochrane review: Singh M & Das RR: Zinc for the common cold. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011 Jan 18;1:CD008965
  • Hemilä, Harri; Haukka, Jari; Alho, Marianne; Vahtera, Jussi; Kivimäki, Mika (2020)
    Objective To examine a commercially available zinc acetate lozenge for treating the common cold. Design Randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial. Setting Working population in Finland. Participants We included men and women aged >= 18 years who usually had >= 1 cold per winter. Exclusions were pregnancy, lactation, chronic runny nose or chronic cough. Intervention We randomised 253 participants to receive a package of lozenges to be taken if they caught the common cold. Of the 253 participants, 88 contracted the common cold and 87 were included in our primary analysis. Zinc acetate lozenges contained 13 mg elemental zinc and placebo lozenges contained sucrose octa-acetate to camouflage the taste of zinc. Instruction to use was six times per day for the maximum of 5 days. Primary outcome Rate of recovery from the common cold analysed by Cox regression. Results There was no difference in the recovery rate between zinc and placebo participants during the 10-day follow-up (rate ratio for zinc vs placebo=0.68, 95% CI 0.42 to 1.08; p=0.10). The recovery rate for the two groups was similar during the 5-day intervention, but for 2 days after the end of zinc/placebo use, the zinc participants recovered significantly slower compared with the placebo participants (p=0.003). In the zinc group, 37% did not report adverse effects, the corresponding proportion being 69% in the placebo group. Conclusions A commercially available zinc acetate lozenge was not effective in treating the common cold when instructed to be used for 5 days after the first symptoms. Taste has been a common problem in previous zinc lozenge trials, but a third of zinc participants did not complain of any adverse effects. More research is needed to evaluate the characteristics of zinc lozenges that may be clinically efficacious before zinc lozenges can be widely promoted for common cold treatment.
  • Hemilä, Harri (2012)
    The systematic review by Dr. Science et al. has a number of problems. ... Even though we need further research to find out what the optimal lozenge compositions and treatment strategies are, the great benefit and the minimal adverse effects in the zinc acetate trials gives a strong rationale for physicians to suggest common cold patients to test zinc acetate lozenges (about 80 mg/day of zinc).