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עמוד בית
Mon, 15.07.24

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September 2023
Alon Abraham MD, Beatrice Abramovich PhD, Tamar Banon MSc, Clara Weil MSc, Gabriel Chodick PhD, Nurit Birman MD, Yaara Fainmesser MD, Vivian E. Drory MD

Background: There is an unmet need for real-world data regarding laboratory results, co-morbidities, and medication use prior to the first symptoms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Researchers must identify specific subpopulations at risk for developing ALS and understand pathogenic mechanisms preceding the clinical presentation of ALS as well as possible subclinical disease manifestations.

Objectives: To valuate the role of laboratory results, co-morbidities, and medication use prior to the first symptoms of patients with ALS in Israel so that specific subpopulations at risk for developing ALS can be identified and for possible subclinical disease manifestations. To understand pathogenic mechanisms preceding the clinical presentation of ALS.

Methods: At the ALS clinic at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, 259 ALS patients insured by Maccabi Healthcare Services and seen between January 1998 and December 2017 were included. Comparisons of demographics, co-morbidities, medications taken, history of trauma, and laboratory tests prior to disease onset were performed between patients and 1295 matched controls.

Results: Prior to disease presentation, ALS patients had a higher frequency of hypertension and cardiovascular disease; presented more frequently with trauma and viral infections; more frequently used analgesics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, narcotics, antibiotics, and antiviral medications; and had higher creatine kinase levels.

Conclusions: ALS patients showed higher frequency of cardiovascular disease prior to diagnosis, as well as higher frequency of trauma, infections, and pain medication usage.

April 2022
Elyasaf Hofi B Sc Pharm, Mordekhay Medvedovsky MD PhD, Mais Nassar MD, Naomi Kahana Levy PhD, Sara Eyal PhD, and Dana Ekstein MD PhD

Background: Patients with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME) are especially prone to having antiseizure medications (ASMs) withdrawal seizures (WS).

Objectives: To clarify whether WS in JME patients are caused by a high tendency of non-adherence from seizure-free patients or by a constitutive increased sensitivity to drug withdrawal.

Methods: Epilepsy patients followed in a tertiary epilepsy clinic between 2010 and 2013 were included in the study. WS prevalence was compared between drug-responsive and drug-resistant JME patients and patients with other types of epilepsy.

Results: The study included 23 JME patients (16 drug-responsive and 7 drug-resistant) and 138 patients with other epilepsies (74 drug-responsive and 64 drug-resistant). JME patients were younger and included more women than non-JME patients. Significantly more WS were seen in JME than in non-JME patients (P = 0.01) and in the drug-resistant fraction of JME patients in comparison to drug-resistant non-JME patients (P = 0.02). On logistic regression, the type of epilepsy, but not the patient’s sex, was found to significantly predict WS. No significant difference was found in the prevalence of WS between drug-responsive and drug-resistant JME patients. The main ASM discontinued in JME was valproic acid (VPA), especially in women.

Conclusion: Our findings suggest a higher sensitivity of JME patients to withdrawal of medications. It is important to educate JME patients about treatment adherence and to explain to their physicians how to carefully reduce or replace ASMs to mitigate the morbidity and mortality related to ASM withdrawal

September 2021
Michal Shani MD MPH, Doron Comaneshter PhD, and Alex Lustman MD MPH

Background: Oral anticoagulants (OAC) reduce the risk for stroke and death from all causes in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF)

Objective: To explore adherence rates of OAC among patients with NVAF in long-term use in a real-world setting and to examine patient characteristics associated with good adherence.

Methods: We conducted a population-based cohort study with members of Clalit Health Services, Israel. All patients aged ≥ 30 years with a diagnosis of NVAF before 2016 who were treated with OAC were included. We included patients who filled at least one prescription per year in the three consecutive years 2016–2018. We analyzed all prescriptions that were filled for the medications from 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2017. We considered purchasing of at least nine monthly prescriptions during 2017 as good medication adherence.

Results: We identified 26,029 patients with NVAF who were treated with OAC; 10,284 (39.5%) were treated with apixaban, 6321 (24.3%) with warfarin, 6290 (24.1%) with rivaroxaban, and 3134 (12.0%) with dabigatran. Rates of good medication adherence were 88.9% for rivaroxaban, 84.9% for apixaban, 83.6% for dabigatran, and 55.8% for warfarin (P < 0.0001). Advanced age was associated with higher adherence rates (P < 0.001). Socioeconomic status was not associated with medication adherence. Good adherence with OAC was associated with lower low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and glucose levels.

Conclusions: Adherence rates to OAC in chronic use among patients with chronic NAVF are high. Investing in OAC adherence may have a wider health impact than expected.

November 2020
Dana Ekstein MD PhD, Iris Noyman MD, Firas Fahoum MD MSc, Moshe Herskovitz MD, Ilan Linder MD, Bruria Ben Zeev MD, and Sara Eyal PhD

The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) and its management in patients with epilepsy can be complex. Prescribers should consider potential effects of investigational anti-COVID-19 drugs on seizures, immunomodulation by anti-seizure medications (ASMs), changes in ASM pharmacokinetics, and the potential for drug-drug interactions (DDIs). The goal of the Board of the Israeli League Against Epilepsy (the Israeli Chapter of the International League Against Epilepsy, ILAE) was to summarize the main principles of the pharmacological treatment of COVID-19 in patients with epilepsy. This guide was based on current literature, drug labels, and drug interaction resources. We summarized the available data related to the potential implications of anti-COVID-19 co-medication in patients treated with ASMs. Our recommendations refer to drug selection, dosing, and patient monitoring. Given the limited availability of data, some recommendations are based on general pharmacokinetic or pharmacodynamic principles and might apply to additional future drug combinations as novel treatments emerge. They do not replace evidence-based guidelines, should those become available. Awareness to drug characteristics that increase the risk of interactions can help adjust anti-COVID-19 and ASM treatment for patients with epilepsy

November 2013
I. Strauss, T. Jonas-Kimchi, Z. Lidar MD, D. Buchbut, N. Shtraus, B. W. Corn and A. A. Kanner, T. Wolak, E. Aliev, B. Rogachev, Y. Baumfeld, C. Cafri,, M. Abu-Shakra and Victor Novack.
 Background: Contrast-induced nephropathy (CIN) is one of the major causes of new-onset renal failure in hospitalized patients. Although renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) blocking agents are widely used among patients requiring contrast studies, data on the effect of these agents on the development of CIN are sparse and inconsistent.  

Objectives: To evaluate in a randomized control trial whether uninterrupted administration of angiotensin II (AngII) blockade medications influence estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) in patients undergoing non-emergent coronary angiography.

Methods: Patients receiving treatment with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin receptor blockers (ACE-I/ARB) were recruited consecutively. The enrolled subjects were randomized into three groups at a 1:1:1 ratio: group A (ACE/ARB stopped 24 hours prior to the procedure and restarted immediately after the procedure), group B (ACE/ARB stopped 24 hours prior to the procedure and restarted 24 hours after the procedure), and group C (ACE/ARB continued throughout the study period). Plasma creatinine was measured and eGFR was calculated according to the Cockroft-Gault equation before and 48 hours after the coronary angiography. The primary endpoint was a change in eGFR at 48 hours.

Results: Groups A, B and C comprised 30, 31 and 33 patients respectively. The mean age of the study population was 65 ± 12 years and 67% were males. Fifty percent of the subjects had diabetes mellitus. The primary endpoint analysis showed that at 48 hours after the procedure there was no difference in ΔeGFR between groups A and C (4.25 ± 12.19 vs. 4.65 ± 11.76, P = 0.90) and groups B and C (3.72 ± 17.42 vs. 4.65 ± 11.76, P = 0.82). In post-hoc analysis the patients were clustered according to the following groups: medical alternation (group A and B) versus control (group C) and to baseline eGFR ≥ 60 ml/min vs. eGFR < 60 ml/min. In patients with baseline eGFR < 60 ml/min the ΔeGFR (baseline eGFR-eGFR 48 hours post-angiography) was significantly different between the intervention vs. control group (median 5.61 vs. median -2.19, P = 0.03 respectively). While in patients with baseline eGFR ≥ 60 ml/min there was no significant difference in ΔeGFR between the intervention and control groups.

Conclusions: ACE-I and ARB can safely be used before and after coronary angiography in patients with eGFR ≥ 60 ml/min. 

August 2000
Vladimir Gavrilov MD, Matitiahu Lifshitz MD, Jacob Levy MD and Rafael Gorodischer MD

Background: Many medications used for children have not undergone evaluation to assure acceptable standards for optimal dose, safety and efficacy. As a result, the majority of children admitted to hospital wards receive medications outside the terms of their license (off-label) or medications that are not specifically licensed for use in children (unlicensed). The extent of unlicensed and off-label medication use in ambulatory children is unknown.

Objective: To determine the extent of unlicensed and off-label medication use in a general pediatrics ambulatory hospital unit in Israel.

Patients and Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of the medical records of 132 outpatient children treated in the General Pediatrics Ambulatory Unit of the Soroka Medical Center, Beer Sheva, in November–December 1998.

Results: The children’s ages ranged from 1 month to 18 years (mean ± SD 50±58 months). Of the 222 prescriptions given to these children, one-third were unlicensed (8%) or unlabeled (26%). Different dose and age were the most common categories of off-label medication use. All 18 cases of unlicensed use were due to modifica-tion of licensed drugs (tablets were crushed to prepare suspensions). Altogether, 42% of children received medicines that were off-label and/or unlicensed.

Conclusions: More off-label than unlicensed medications were used. Further investigations are required to establish the extent of unproved drug use in both hospitalized and ambulatory pediatric patients in Israel. Recommendations recently issued by the Ministry of Health’s National Council for Child Health and Pediatrics constitute a first step in the Israeli contribution to the international effort demanding testing of medications for children.

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