Minerva Minerva


BMJ 2002; 324 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.324.7334.434 (Published 16 February 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:434

Drug users can also independently have problems with alcohol misuse. In a survey of 735 people seeking help for drug use who were also current drinkers, three groups of people emerged: those with no alcohol dependence (63%), those with low dependence (19%), and those with high dependence (18%). Those with high alcohol dependence tended to drink extra-strength beer and were more likely to use benzodiazepines, amphetamines, and cocaine powder (Addiction 2002;97:169-78).

Some women taking the combined oral contraceptive pill say they have headaches during their pill-free week; presumably this is due to oestrogen withdrawal. A placebo controlled pilot study attempted to find out whether natural oestrogen patches worn during that week could improve things. The authors report no firm conclusions but say the results suggest that women using 50 μg oestrogen patches had fewer and milder headaches (Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care 2002;28:27-31). A larger study using higher dose oestrogen might provide a definitive answer.

Infants' immune systems are stronger than a lot of parents (and some doctors) think. Anyone looking for a good review of the evidence about this should get hold of a copy of Pediatrics (2002;109:124-9) …

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