Modest benefit seen with calcium-channel blockers for Raynaud's phenomenon

מתוך medicontext.co.il

WESTPORT, CT (Reuters Health) – Calcium-channel blockers are of no more than moderate efficacy in reducing the severity and frequency of ischemic attacks in patients with Raynaud's phenomenon secondary to systemic sclerosis, according to results of a meta-analysis conducted by Canadian researchers.

Dr. Janet E. Pope, of University of Western Ontario in London, and colleagues searched medical literature published between 1966 and 2000. They identified only eight randomized controlled trials in which calcium-channel blockers were compared with placebo or with another treatment in a total of only 109 patients with systemic sclerosis. The studies were all published since 1983.

As reported in Arthritis and Rheumatism for August, calcium-channel blockers significantly reduced the frequency of ischemic attacks by an average of about eight attacks in a 2-week period. The frequency of attacks ranged from 15 to 56 in the placebo groups, and 13 to 29 in the treatment groups.

The severity of attacks was reduced with calcium-channel blocker treatment by approximately 35% compared with placebo.

Saying that the benefit is "moderate at best," Dr. Pope and her associates recommend that physicians consider the risk-to-benefit ratio of calcium-channel blockers before prescribing them for Raynaud's phenomenon in patients with scleroderma.

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