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Spaneph: data on efficacy


In our note on this slow-release ephedrine preparation (April 10, p.31) we commented on the lack of clear evidence that it is clinically effective. SKF have now shown us a draft report of two well controlled comparative studies carried out at the Institute of Diseases of the Chest in London. Capsules of ephedrine sulphate 30 mg, three times daily (at 8 a.m., noon and 4 p.m.) and a single morning dose of Spaneph (containing 75 mg) each produced similar improvement in lung function up to 5 p.m. in patients with asthma or chronic bronchitis with reversible airways obstruction. This evidence suggests that these two ways of giving such doses of ephedrine may be equivalent, and some patients may find it easier to take a single daily dose - though this would cost about five times as much. However both may be less appropriate than a dosage scheme producing a more intermittent effect.

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