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Self-medication is an important pillar of healthcare

… and as with treatment prescribed by a doctor, it should be undertaken on the basis of the available evidence. Evidence for Self-Medication (EfSM) presents compact reviews of relevant studies on OTC medicines and active substances in order to enable pharmacists and other healthcare professionals to provide the best possible – and evidence-based – advice on self-medication. EfSM reviews are published in English and German, and many articles are also available in further languages.

Dexibuprofen – a portrait


Dexibuprofen, the pharmacologically active enantiomer of ibuprofen, shows good efficacy in both acute and chronic pain. The review summarises study results that confirm dexibuprofen as an effective and safe alternative compared to ibuprofen and other COX inhibitors.
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Author: Andrea Gažová, Doc. PharmD, PhD, Jan Kyselovic, PharmD, PhD and Eva Koscova MD, PhD, MBAEFSM: 2021;1:210324DOI: https://doi.org/10.52778/efsm.21.0324Date: 29.10.2021

Micronutrient combination plus DHA during pregnancy


The multicentre, parallel, randomised, controlled study assessed the impact of once-daily supplementation with 12 vitamins, 6 minerals and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) on maternal biomarkers and child-specific parameters during pregnancy. The results indicated, among other things, improvement of the DHA and vitamin D status coupled with good tolerability and a high level of safety.

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Author: Jens SeibelEFSM: 2021;1:210330DOI: https://doi.org/10.52778/efsm.21.0330Date: 26.10.2021

Macrogol 4000: evidence-based self-medication for functional constipation


Macrogol preparations are one of the first-line treatments for constipation in both, children and adults. A review has confirmed the efficacy and tolerability of macrogol 4000 compared with lactulose and macrogol preparations with added electrolytes. The osmotic laxative is a good recommendation on pharmacoeconomic grounds as well.
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Author: Marion Eberlin, PhD and Sabine Landes, PhDEFSM: 2021;1:210315DOI: https://doi.org/10.52778/efsm.21.0315Date: 12.10.2021

Evidence for the treatment of acute joint pain with topical diclofenac gels


An ex-vivo study on human skin samples showed that topical diclofenac not only penetrates the skin but also forms a reservoir of the drug in the epidermis. Confirmation that the drug reaches the site of action was provided by a double-blind Phase 1 study in which repeated topical application led to the presence of diclofenac in the joint space – irrespective of the patient’s BMI.
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Author: Daniela DeutschEFSM: 2021;1:210313 DOI: https://doi.org/10.52778/efsm.21.0313Date: 22.09.2021

Meta-analysis on the role of exercise in the treatment of constipation


Current guidelines recommend life-style adjustment (including more exercise) as the first measure for treating constipation. This meta-analysis investigated the influence of exercise therapy on the symptoms of patients with chronic constipation. About half of participants in a exercise programme lasting several weeks experienced a positive effect on their symptoms. Studies with the laxa ...

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Author: Thomas Weiser, PhD and Sabine Landes, PhDEFSM: 2021;1:210001DOI: 10.52778/efsm.21.0001Date: 16.08.2021

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Featured article

Caffeine – stimulating, aromatic, safe


Good news for coffee drinkers: For healthy adults life-long consumption of up to 400 mg caffeine daily can be considered safe according to the European Food Safety Authority.

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