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What's new this month in BMJ Journals

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 11 September 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:583
  1. Harvey Marcovitch, BMJ syndication editor (

    Topical capsaicin relieves pruritus ani

    A randomised controlled trial has shown that 0.006% capsaicin cream is an effective remedy for chronic intractable pruritus ani. Forty four patients with symptoms for a mean of two years, no identifiable pathology, and no response to standard treatment were entered into the four week trial. Symptoms were relived in 31 (but in no patients given placebo). Four patients withdrew because of a moderate burning sensation on applying the cream. The preparation is thought to inhibit release of substance P, a neuropeptide which mediates the sensations of pain and itching.

    Gut2003; 52: 1323-6

    Water fluoridation doesn't influence stillbirths or congenital abnormalities

    Two population based registers in the north of England were searched to obtain 10 year prevalence of stillbirths and a selection of commoner congenital abnormalities. Prevalences were compared in people born in areas …

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