Survey: Adults have trouble picking appropriate treatments for cough symptoms
AUSTIN, Texas Despite an increased concern for their health due to fears of the H1N1 influenza virus, American adults frequently confuse their symptoms and the treatments appropriate for them when dealing with a cough due to a cold or flu, according to results of a new survey conducted in October for the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners released Wednesday.
Two online surveys — one fielded in January just prior to the emergence of the H1N1 virus, and a second survey fielded in October following the H1N1 virus outbreak — were conducted for the AANP by Harris Interactive. The first survey queried more than 500 nonsmokers ages 25 to 55 years who reported having a cough due to cold or flu in the last year; the second survey queried 1,928 adults ages 18 years and older.
In the more recent survey, nearly 60% of Americans reported they are somewhat or very concerned for their health when near someone who coughs, due to the high number of H1N1 flu cases expected this year.
Although 72% of all survey respondents who had experienced a cough reported treating it with an over-the-counter regimen, American adults are largely unsure or inaccurate when identifying which cough product works best for relieving their symptoms. More than 40% were not sure at all, and only 15% accurately identified cough products that contain an expectorant as best for relieving cold-related coughs, and those that contain a suppressant as best for flu-related coughs.
“We found patients are still confused about cold and flu symptoms and how best to treat them, even though there’s been a lot of education about the flu this year,” stated Mary Ellen Roberts, nurse practitioner and AANP board member.
More than three-fourths of adults correctly associate the flu with high fever and severe aches and pains. However, less than one-quarter identified a dry, unproductive cough as a symptom of the flu. Conversely, more than 75% of adults correctly associate the common cold with a productive cough, stuffy nose and sneezing, yet only one in 10 respondents reported taking an expectorant product to treat cough due to cold.
“Because coughs associated with the cold and flu differ both in their causes and in their effects, patients need different over-the-counter medications for them,” said Roberts. “With a cough due to a cold, patients should treat with an expectorant to clear out mucus. For coughs associated with the flu, patients should usually consider a cough suppressant to treat a dry, hacking cough, as well as acetaminophen to reduce fever and pain.”
Earlier survey results from January show that 73% — 68 million Americans — experienced disrupted sleep due to a cough in the past year, yet more than two-thirds of the adults who chose not to stay home because of their cough say that they made the choice because they didn’t want to miss work or school. Of all symptoms cough sufferers experience; difficulty sleeping was the most commonly reported and correlated most strongly with the severity of the cough, and with the likelihood of seeking professional treatment.
“Cough sufferers need to know that when they don’t get their symptoms treated rapidly and properly, they might not only lose effective rest, but there can be far-reaching ramifications on their work or school days,” Roberts said. “We frequently see patients continue normal activities regardless of how they feel. While this may be reflective of the current economic situation, patients need to know that this may not be the wisest decision in the long term, and that there are long-acting products that can provide symptomatic relief for up to 12 hours.”
Both surveys were sponsored by an unrestricted educational grant from Reckitt Benckiser.
Study finds GanedenBC30 strain relieves intestinal gas
CLEVELAND A clinical study recently published in BMC Gastroenterology found that an over-the-counter product containing the probiotic strain Ganeden Biotech’s GanedenBC30 was significantly more effective than placebo in providing relief to subjects suffering from intestinal gas, Ganeden announced Tuesday.
Bacillus coagulans already has been shown to be effective in more serious disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome, but the study is the first to show a gastrointestinal benefit in otherwise healthy adults.
The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study found that subjects taking Digestive Advantage Gas Defense Formula, an OTC product marketed by Ganeden Biotech that contains the Bacillus coagulans probiotic strain, experienced statistically significant improvement versus placebo in the Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale total score over the four weeks of product use.
“Many people may not understand that probiotics are more than something you find just in yogurt,” stated Michael Roizen, chief wellness officer at the Cleveland Clinic. “Taking probiotics is a good habit that can really benefit your digestive system, which is intricately connected to your overall health, yet most Americans are still unfamiliar with them and the good they can do.”
Intestinal gas results from the fermentation of undigested carbohydrates in the lower bowel. The lack of appropriate enzymes to break down these carbohydrates before they reach the lower bowel is a major factor, as is the case with people who are lactose intolerant. Bacillus coagulans has been shown in an in vitro model of the human digestive tract to aid in the digestion of carbohydrates, including lactose and fructose.
GSK, NanoBio to develop cold sore treatment
PARSIPPANY, N.J. GlaxoSmithKline and NanoBio Corp. on Wednesday announced an exclusive licensing agreement in the United States and Canada for the over-the-counter use of NB-001, a novel, patented compound representing the next advance in the treatment of cold sores.
Developed by NanoBio, NB-001 provides significant antimicrobial activity against the virus that causes cold sores, herpes labialis.
NanoBio has completed two phase 2 clinical trials of NB-001, demonstrating efficacy and a good safety profile in patients and plans to enter phase 3 testing soon.
“I am pleased to announce this partnership with GSK as it will enable the development and commercialization of NB-001 to its fullest potential,” stated James Baker, Jr., NanoBio’s CEO and founder. “GSK’s demonstrated leadership in developing and marketing consumer healthcare products, including the leading product for the treatment of herpes labialis, makes them the ideal partner for NB-001. On a broader scale, this partnership further validates the promise of our proprietary platform technology, and its potential use in a wide range of dermatological and anti-infective applications.”
Cold sores are a prevalent condition affecting approximately 20% of the adult population in the U.S. GSK has established Abreva as the leading cold sore treatment with a greater than 50% share, gaining two share points in the prior 12 months. Abreva is the only OTC medicine approved by the Food and Drug Administration that is proven to shorten cold sore healing time.
Under the terms of the agreement, NanoBio will receive an upfront payment of $14.5 million, and is eligible to receive additional milestone payments of up to $40 million plus single digit royalties on future sales.