Antibiotic Therapy vs Appendectomy for Treatmentof Uncomplicated Acute AppendicitisThe APPAC Randomized Clinical Trial Paulina Salminen, MD, PhD; Hannu Paajanen, MD, PhD; Tero Rautio, MD, PhD; Pia Nordström, MD, PhD; Markku Aarnio, MD, PhD;Tuomo Rantanen, MD, PhD; Risto Tuominen, MPH, PhD; Saija Hurme, MSc; Johanna Virtanen, MD; Jukka-Pekka Mecklin, MD, PhD;Juhani Sand, MD, PhD; Airi Jartti, MD; Irina Rinta-Kiikka, MD, PhD; Juha M. Grönroos, MD, PhD Editorial page 2327 IMPORTANCE An increasing amount of evidence supports the use of antibiotics instead of
Author Audio Interview at surgery for treating patients with uncomplicated acute appendicitis.
Related articles page 2371 and OBJECTIVE To compare antibiotic therapy with appendectomy in the treatment of
page 2384 and JAMA Patient uncomplicated acute appendicitis confirmed by computed tomography (CT).
Supplemental content at DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS The Appendicitis Acuta (APPAC) multicenter,
open-label, noninferiority randomized clinical trial was conducted from November 2009 untilJune 2012 in Finland. The trial enrolled 530 patients aged 18 to 60 years with uncomplicated acute appendicitis confirmed by a CT scan. Patients were randomly assigned to early jamanetworkcme.com and appendectomy or antibiotic treatment with a 1-year follow-up period.
CME Questions page 2375 INTERVENTIONS Patients randomized to antibiotic therapy received intravenous ertapenem
(1 g/d) for 3 days followed by 7 days of oral levofloxacin (500 mg once daily) and
metronidazole (500 mg 3 times per day). Patients randomized to the surgical treatment
group were assigned to undergo standard open appendectomy.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES The primary end point for the surgical intervention was the
successful completion of an appendectomy. The primary end point for antibiotic-treated
patients was discharge from the hospital without the need for surgery and no recurrent
appendicitis during a 1-year follow-up period.
RESULTS There were 273 patients in the surgical group and 257 in the antibiotic group. Of 273
patients in the surgical group, all but 1 underwent successful appendectomy, resulting in a success
rate of 99.6% (95% CI, 98.0% to 100.0%). In the antibiotic group, 70 patients (27.3%; 95% CI,
22.0% to 33.2%) underwent appendectomy within 1 year of initial presentation for appendicitis.
Of the 256 patients available for follow-up in the antibiotic group, 186 (72.7%; 95% CI, 66.8% to
78.0%) did not require surgery. The intention-to-treat analysis yielded a difference in treatment
efficacy between groups of −27.0% (95% CI, −31.6% to ⬁) (P = .89). Given the prespecified
noninferiority margin of 24%, we were unable to demonstrate noninferiority of antibiotic
treatment relative to surgery. Of the 70 patients randomized to antibiotic treatment who
subsequently underwent appendectomy, 58 (82.9%; 95% CI, 72.0% to 90.8%) had
uncomplicated appendicitis, 7 (10.0%; 95% CI, 4.1% to 19.5%) had complicated acute appendicitis,
and 5 (7.1%; 95% CI, 2.4% to 15.9%) did not have appendicitis but received appendectomy for
suspected recurrence. There were no intra-abdominal abscesses or other major complications
associated with delayed appendectomy in patients randomized to antibiotic treatment.
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Among patients with CT-proven, uncomplicated appendicitis,
antibiotic treatment did not meet the prespecified criterion for noninferiority compared with
appendectomy. Most patients randomized to antibiotic treatment for uncomplicated
Author Affiliations: Author
appendicitis did not require appendectomy during the 1-year follow-up period, and those who affiliations are listed at the end of this required appendectomy did not experience significant complications.
Corresponding Author: Paulina
TRIAL REGISTRATION clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT01022567
Salminen, MD, PhD, Kiinamyllynkatu4-8, 20520 Turku, Finland Copyright 2015 American Medical Association. All rights reserved.
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Antibiotics vs Appendectomy for Uncomplicated Appendicitis Treatment Original Investigation Research acute appendicitis for over a century. More than ficacy between the surgical and antibiotic groups.
300 000 appendectomies are performed annually in the United States.1 Although appendectomy is generally well tol- erated, it is a major surgical intervention and can be associ- Patients aged 18 to 60 years admitted to the emergency ated with postoperative morbidity.2,3 department with a clinical suspicion of uncomplicated acute Since the time Fitz described the relationship between the appendicitis confirmed by a CT scan were enrolled in the appendix and pelvic abscess and McBurney demonstrated re- study. Patients with complicated appendicitis, which was duced morbidity from pelvic infections attributable to defined as the presence of an appendicolith, perforation, appendectomy,4,5 it has been thought that acute appendicitis abscess, or suspicion of a tumor on the CT scan, were invariably progresses to perforation. This line of thinking un- excluded. Other exclusion criteria were age younger than 18 derlies the belief that emergency appendectomy is required years or older than 60 years, contraindications for CT (eg, when a diagnosis of appendicitis is made. Fitz's and McBurney's pregnancy or lactating, allergy to contrast media or iodine, publications4,5 predated the availability of antibiotics by 40 renal insufficiency with serum creatinine level >150 μmol/L, years. In the absence of antibiotics, appendectomy saved lives actively taking metformin), peritonitis, unable to cooperate by reducing the risk of uncontrolled pelvic infection when ap- and provide informed consent, and the presence of serious pendicitis was present.
systemic illness.
Even though appendectomy has been the mainstay treat- ment for appendicitis, relatively soon after antibiotics were available, Coldrey6 reported treating 471 patients with acute Acute appendicitis was considered present when the appen- appendicitis with antibiotic therapy in 1956. Mortality was low diceal diameter exceeded 6 mm with wall thickening and at (0.2%) and recurrent appendicitis occurred in only 14.4% of least 1 of the following was present: abnormal contrast en- patients. More recently, the notion of treating appendicitis with hancement of the appendiceal wall, inflammatory edema, or antibiotics was tested in 3 randomized clinical trials7-9 (RCTs) fluid collections around the appendix.
(Table 1). The results from these 3 trials were summarized in aCochrane analysis10 and several meta-analyses.11-15 Each of these trials had limitations, and appendectomy remains the Patients were randomized by a closed envelope method standard approach for treating appendicitis.
either to undergo open appendectomy or to receive antibi- To overcome the limitations of previous trials, we tested otic therapy with intravenous ertapenem. The randomiza- the hypothesis that appendicitis can be successfully treated tion was performed with a 1:1 equal allocation ratio. There with antibiotics by conducting a multicenter, open-label, non- were 610 opaque, sealed, and sequentially numbered ran- inferiority RCT comparing antibiotic therapy with emer- domization envelopes. The envelopes were shuffled and gency appendectomy for treating uncomplicated acute ap- then distributed to each participating hospital. To random- ize a patient, the surgeon on duty in each participating hos-pital opened a consecutively numbered envelope that con-tained information regarding the randomization groupassignment for the patient. Most of the treating surgeons were not part of the core study team and provided care as they did in their normal clinical practice.
The Appendicitis Acuta (APPAC) trial was performed in 6Finnish hospitals (Turku, Oulu, and Tampere university hos- pitals and Mikkeli, Seinajoki, and Jyvaskyla central hospitals) Surgical Treatment from November 2009 until June 2012. All details of the trial de- Open appendectomy was performed using a McBurney right- sign and methods were previously published.16 The trial pro- lower quadrant muscle-splitting incision technique. Some sur- tocol was approved by the ethics committees of all the par- geons performed laparoscopic appendectomy. Prophylactic an- ticipating hospitals and appears in Supplement 1. All Finnish tibiotics (1.5 g of cefuroxime and 500 mg of metronidazole) hospitals with sufficient patient volume agreeing to partici- were administered approximately 30 minutes before the in- pate in the study were included. The study was conducted in cision was made. No further antibiotics were given to pa- accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki.17 All patients gave tients in the surgical group unless a wound infection was sus- written informed consent to participate in the study.
pected postoperatively. Appendicitis was confirmed if therewas histopathological evidence of transmural neutrophil in- vasion involving the appendiceal muscularis layer.
The objective of the APPAC trial was to compare antibiotictherapy with emergency appendectomy in the treatment of un- Antibiotic Therapy complicated acute appendicitis confirmed by a computed to- Ertapenem was chosen as the antibiotic for this study mographic (CT) scan. We tested the hypothesis that antibi- because of its efficacy as a monotherapy for serious intra- otic treatment of uncomplicated acute appendicitis was abdominal infections,18 requiring only a single, daily dose.
noninferior to appendectomy. Based on prior studies,13 we as- Intravenous ertapenem sodium (1 g/d) was administered for (Reprinted) JAMA June 16, 2015 Volume 313, Number 23
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Research Original Investigation Antibiotics vs Appendectomy for Uncomplicated Appendicitis Treatment Table 1. Major Randomized Clinical Trials Comparing Antibiotic Therapy With Appendectomy in Patients With Acute Appendicitis Antibiotic Used for in Patients Treated Nonsurgical Patients With Antibioticsa IV: cefotaxime plus Female patients excluded, primary end point unclear Oral: ofloxacin plus IV: cefotaxime plus 52.5% of patients in the antibiotic group crossed over Oral: ciprofloxacin plus to the surgery group IV: amoxicillin plus Included patients with complicated acute Oral: amoxicillin plus suboptimal antibiotic forintra-abdominal infections Abbreviations: CRP, C-reactive protein; CT, computed tomography; IV, intravenous.
a Data are expressed as No./total (%).
3 days to patients in the antibiotic group, with the first dose (treatment efficacy). Treatment success in the appendec- given in the emergency department. The clinical status of tomy group was defined as a patient successfully undergoing patients in the antibiotic group was reevaluated within 12 to an appendectomy.
24 hours after admission by the surgeon on call. If the sur- Secondary end points included overall postintervention geon suspected progressive infection, perforated appendici- complications, late recurrence (after 1 year) of acute appendi- tis, or peritonitis, the patient underwent appendectomy.
citis after conservative treatment, length of hospital stay and Intravenous antibiotic treatment was followed by 7 days of the amount of sick leave used by the patient, postinterven- oral levofloxacin (500 mg once daily) and metronidazole tion pain scores (VAS score range, 0-10; a score of 0 indicates (500 mg 3 times per day).
no pain and 10 indicates the worst possible pain), and the useof pain medication. Postintervention complications included clinical wound infection (surgical site infection) occurring Patient outcomes were assessed during their hospital stay (days within 30 days after the operative procedure as diagnosed by 0, 1, 2) and then by telephone interviews at 1 week, 2 months, a surgeon or with a positive bacterial culture,19 other general and 1 year after the intervention. At both 1 week and 2 months postoperative complications (eg, pneumonia), adverse ef- following randomization, pain scores were obtained using a fects of the antibiotic treatment (eg, diarrhea), incisional her- visual analog scale (VAS; Supplement 2), sick leave was regis- nia, possible adhesion-related problems (eg, bowel obstruc- tered, and the presence of wound infections and recurrent ap- tion), and persistent abdominal or incisional pain.
pendicitis was determined. Patients were instructed to con- Recurrent acute appendicitis was diagnosed on a clinical tact the research hospital in the event they experienced any basis. Patients treated with antibiotics who had a suspected postintervention problems. They were asked about possible recurrence of appendicitis always underwent appendec- wound infections during the telephone interviews at 1 week tomy. The diagnosis of recurrent appendicitis was confirmed and at 2 months following surgery. In cases of patient report by surgical and histopathological examination of the re- of postoperative infection, hospital records were reviewed to sected specimen.
verify that the wound infection was noted by the treating phy-sicians.
Statistical Analysis For patients who could not be reached for follow-up by tele- The sample size calculation for the trial assumed that all pa- phone or clinic visit, a search of hospital records in each re- tients randomized to the surgical group would undergo ap- search hospital district was conducted to retrieve informa- pendectomy. For computational reasons, the success rate for tion about appendectomy. It is likely that patients undergoing surgery was assumed to be 99%. Prior similar studies found surgery during the course of the study would have their op- success rates for antibiotic treatment of approximately 70% to eration either in the research hospital or in a district hospital 80%.7,8 Thus, we anticipated a 75% success rate in the antibi- close to where they were randomized. It also is likely that if otic therapy group and a 24% (95% CI, 75%-99%) noninferior- the patients required further hospital care during the course ity margin was used for the sample size calculations.
of the study, we would have found that information during our We estimated that 275 patients per group would yield a searches of the district medical records.
power of 0.90 (1-β) to establish whether antibiotic treatmentwas noninferior to appendectomy using a 1-sided signifi- cance α level of .05 with Proc Power version 9.2 (SAS Insti- The primary end point for patients in the antibiotic group was tute Inc). We anticipated a 10% loss to follow-up, resulting in resolution of acute appendicitis, resulting in discharge from our plan to enroll 610 patients. Due to a slower than antici- the hospital without the need for surgical intervention and no pated enrollment period, we recalculated the sample size recurrent appendicitis during a minimum follow-up of 1 year when 530 patients were recruited. At that time, there was a JAMA June 16, 2015 Volume 313, Number 23 (Reprinted)
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Antibiotics vs Appendectomy for Uncomplicated Appendicitis Treatment Original Investigation Research Figure. Path of Patients in the Appendicitis Acuta (APPAC) Trial 1379 Patients assessed for eligibility
849 Excluded
733 Did not meet inclusion criteria
351 Other finding on computed tomography
337 Complicated acute appendicitis a
18 Patient age either <18 y or >60 y
27 Other reasons
116 Refused to participate
273 Randomized to receive appendectomy
257 Randomized to receive antibiotic therapy
272 Received appendectomy as
242 Received antibiotic as randomized
15 Did not receive antibiotic as
1 Did not receive appendectomy
as randomized (resolution of 8 Uncomplicated acute appendicitis
7 Complicated acute appendicitis
1 Lost to follow-up (died on fifth
1 Lost to follow-up (died due to trauma)
postoperative day due to cardiomyopathy) 55 Discontinued intervention
0 Discontinued intervention
50 Uncomplicated recurrent acute
5 Normal appendix, no acute appendicitis
272 Included in primary analysis
256 Included in primary analysis
215 Included in assessment of secondary
227 Included in assessment of secondary
57 Lost to follow-up (could not be reached
29 Lost to follow-up (could not be reached
by telephone or at clinic follow-up) by telephone or at clinic follow-up) a Includes appendicolith, perforation, abscess, or suspicion of tumor.
power of 0.89 (1-β). With an assumed loss to follow-up rate tomy and 257 who were assigned to receive antibiotic therapy.
of 10%, the calculation resulted in a power of 0.86, which we One of the patients randomized to the antibiotic group died believed was adequate, allowing us to terminate enrollment.
due to trauma within the year following randomization, leav- Categorical variables were characterized using frequen- ing 256 patients available for follow-up.
cies and percentages, continuous variables as means and stan- There were 849 patients who did not meet the inclusion dard deviations or, if the data were skewed, as medians with criteria and were excluded from the trial. Of these, 337 25th and 75th percentiles. Statistical significance for categori- patients were found to have complicated acute appendicitis cal data was tested using the Pearson χ2 test. Noninferiority on a CT scan in the emergency department. In this cohort, for antibiotic therapy was tested using 1-sided Wald tests with 295 patients had an appendicolith, 51 patients had evidence an α level of .05.
of perforated appendicitis, and 40 patients had an intra- Differences between groups for normally distributed vari- abdominal abscess; some patients may have had more than 1 ables (hemoglobin level, leukocyte count, and creatinine level) finding (eg, perforated appendicitis with abscess). Baseline were tested using the independent sample t test. The Mann- characteristics for patients who declined to participate were Whitney test was used for variables not normally distributed similar to those who underwent randomization with respect (ie, age, VAS pain scores, C-reactive protein level, length of hos- to age, sex, leukocyte count, and C-reactive protein level.
pital stay, and length of sick leave). The main analyses were During the enrollment period, a total of 4380 appendec- based on the intention-to-treat principle. Statistical analyses tomies were performed at the 6 trial hospitals. Of these, 3667 were performed using SAS version 9.2 (SAS Institute Inc).
patients had appendicitis; 3120 patients (85%) had uncompli-cated acute appendicitis and 547 patients (15%) had compli-cated appendicitis presenting with perforation or an abscess.
The negative appendectomy rate was 16% (713/4380).
The Figure shows the trial profile. A total of 1379 patients were screened and 530 patients underwent randomization. There The baseline characteristics of the 2 groups were similar were 273 patients who were assigned to receive appendec- (Table 2). Of the 273 patients randomized to the surgical group, (Reprinted) JAMA June 16, 2015 Volume 313, Number 23
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Research Original Investigation Antibiotics vs Appendectomy for Uncomplicated Appendicitis Treatment Table 2. Baseline Characteristics of the Patients in the Appendicitis Acuta (APPAC) Triala Abbreviation: VAS, visual analog scale.
Antibiotic Groupc SI conversion factors: To convert C-reactive protein to nmol/L, multiplyby 9.524; creatinine to mg/dL, divide a Data are expressed as No. (%) Age, median (25th-75th percentile), y unless otherwise indicated.
VAS score for pain, median (25th-75th percentile)d Appendectomy was performedaccording to standard operative C-reactive protein, median (25th-75th percentile), mg/L timing and treatment.
Hemoglobin, mean (SD), g/L c The first intravenous dose was administered in the emergency Leukocyte count, mean (SD), ×109/L Creatinine, mean (SD), μmol/L d Score range: 0-10; a score of 0 Duration of symptoms, he indicates no pain and 10 indicatesthe worst possible pain.
e For this characteristic, the denominator is 271 for the surgical group and 255 for the antibioticgroup because 2 patients died in all but 1 underwent successful appendectomy, resulting in a Of 257 patients in the antibiotic group, 15 (5.8%; 95% CI, success rate of 99.6% (95% CI, 98.0%-100.0%). The patient ran- 3.3%-9.4%) underwent appendectomy during the initial hos- domized to appendectomy who did not have an operation had pitalization. Of these 15 patients, 7 (2.7%; 95% CI, 1.1%-5.5%) resolution of symptoms before the operation could be per- had complicated acute appendicitis at surgery and 8 (3.1%; 95% formed. Fifteen patients (5.5%) underwent a laparoscopic ap- CI, 1.4%-6.0%) had uncomplicated appendicitis. Of the 7 pa- pendectomy. Two patients (0.7%) in the surgical group did not tients with complicated acute appendicitis, there were 5 with have histopathological evidence of acute appendicitis in the perforated appendicitis. Of these 5 patients, 1 had an appen- resected specimens. One of these patients had inflammation dicolith not visible on a CT scan, 2 presented with severe gan- in the lymphatic tissue and the other had mucosal inflamma- grene of the inflamed appendix, and 1 underwent right hemi- tion but it did not extend to the muscularis of the appendix.
colectomy based on an intraoperative suspicion for a tumor Four patients in the surgical group were found to have com- with lymphadenopathy. However, histopathology of the re- plicated appendicitis during their surgery. Of these 4 pa- sected specimen revealed only perforated appendicitis.
tients, 2 had a perforation and all had an appendicolith. The During the 1-year follow-up period, 55 patients in the an- appendicolith was visible on a CT scan in all 4 patients and was tibiotic group were admitted to the hospital with a clinical sus- also noted by the radiologist. These 4 patients were enrolled picion of acute appendicitis and underwent appendectomy; in the study and classified as protocol violations. Fifty-eight 5 of the 55 had normal appendices when the resected appen- patients were lost to follow-up in the surgical group; specifi- dix was assessed by histopathological examination. The re- cally, there was 1 death and 57 patients could not be reached maining 50 patients had recurrent appendicitis both found dur- by telephone or at clinic follow-up. These 57 patients in the sur- ing surgery and on histopathological examination of the gical group were included in the primary end point analysis resected appendix. The patients with recurrent appendicitis because they had undergone appendectomy.
underwent appendectomy within a median of 102 days (95% Of the 256 patients available for 1-year follow-up in the an- CI, 68-134 days; 25th and 75th percentiles, 43 days and 204 days, tibiotic group, 186 (72.7%; 95% CI, 66.8% to 78.0%) did not re- quire appendectomy. Seventy patients (27.3%; 95% CI, 22.0% Of the 70 patients randomized to antibiotic treatment who to 33.2%) in the antibiotic group underwent surgical interven- subsequently underwent appendectomy, 58 (82.9%; 95% CI, tion within 1 year of initial presentation for appendicitis. The 72.0%-90.8%) had uncomplicated acute appendicitis and 7 intention-to-treat analysis yielded a difference between treat- (10.0%; 95% CI, 4.1%-19.5%) had complicated acute appendi- ment groups of −27.0% (95% CI, −31.6% to ⬁) (P = .89). Be- citis. A total of 5 patients (7.1%, 95% CI, 2.4%-15.9%) of the 70 cause we established a 24% minimal clinically important dif- patients in the antibiotic group undergoing appendectomy ference, we did not demonstrate noninferiority of antibiotic within the 1-year follow-up period did not actually require ap- treatment for appendicitis relative to surgical treatment.
pendectomy because they were found to have normal appen- In the primary outcome analysis of the antibiotic group, 30 patients could not be reached by telephone or at clinic Despite having recurrent appendicitis and delayed opera- follow-up. There was 1 death due to trauma during the tions, the surgical complication rate for the 57 patients in the 1-year follow-up, resulting in 256 patients for the analysis.
antibiotic group who eventually underwent appendectomy was District hospital medical record review provided informa- 7.0% (95% CI, 2.0%-17.0%; 4 patients with complications), tion about possible appendectomy for the 29 patients in the which was lower than the rate of 20.5% (95% CI, 15.3%- antibiotic group who were not available for telephone or 26.4%; 45 patients with complications) for the 220 patients who clinic follow-up.
underwent appendectomy in the surgical group. There was a JAMA June 16, 2015 Volume 313, Number 23 (Reprinted)
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Antibiotics vs Appendectomy for Uncomplicated Appendicitis Treatment Original Investigation Research Table 3. Secondary Outcomes in the Appendicitis Acuta (APPAC) Trial Overall complication rate, % (95% CI) 20.5 (15.3-26.4)a Surgical site infections by type, No.
Incisional hernias, No.
Abdominal, incisional pain, or obstructive symptoms, No.
Length of primary hospital stay, median Abbreviations: NA, not applicable; (25th-75th percentile), d VAS, visual analog scale.
VAS score, median (25th-75th percentile)c a Rate is based on complications in 45 At discharge from the hospital patients of 220 total patients.
b Rate is based on complications in 6 patients of 216 total patients.
c Score range: 0-10; a score of 0 Length of sick leave, median indicates no pain and 10 indicates (25th-75th percentile), d the worst possible pain.
difference between groups of 13.4% (95% CI, 4.9%-21.9%) for Four patients (1.5%) in the surgical group were found to the surgical complication rate (P = .02). No patient in the an- have tumors; 3 were neuroendocrine tumors. These tumors tibiotic group developed an intra-abdominal abscess, includ- were 0.1 mm in diameter (tip of the appendix), 0.7 mm in di- ing those who underwent delayed appendectomy.
ameter (tip of the appendix), and 10 mm in diameter (base ofthe appendix). The patient with the 10-mm tumor subse- Secondary Outcomes quently underwent right hemicolectomy because of the tu- The 30-day mortality rate in the surgical group was 0.4%; 1 pa- mor's size and location. One patient had a polyp with fea- tient with cardiomyopathy died at home 5 days after surgery.
tures of an adenoma with low-grade dysplasia at the tip of the There was 1 death in the antibiotic group unrelated to the appendix. One patient was evaluated for study enrollment de- randomized intervention. The secondary outcomes are sum- spite the preintervention finding of an abscess on a CT scan.
marized in Table 3.
This patient was not enrolled in the study, underwent appen- The overall complication rate of 2.8% (95% CI, 1.0%- dectomy with a histological finding of appendiceal adenocar- 6.0%) was significantly lower in the antibiotic group (6/216 pa- cinoma, and later underwent right hemicolectomy.
tients) than the overall rate of 20.5% (95% CI, 15.3%-26.4%) inthe surgical group (45/220 patients). There was a difference be-tween groups of 17.7% (95% CI, 11.9%-23.4%) for the overall complication rate (P < .001).
There were 24 surgical site infections (1 organ space, 4 deep To our knowledge, the APPAC trial is the largest multicenter, incisional, and 19 superficial). Four of the 5 patients in the sur- open-label, noninferiority RCT of antibiotic treatment for ap- gical group with more severe infections had delayed healing pendicitis conducted to date. When the trial was designed, we of the incision and 1 patient had persistent incisional pain noted assumed that there would be sufficient benefits from avoid- at the 2-month follow-up.
ing surgery and that a 24% failure rate in the antibiotic group At the 1-year evaluation, there were 2 patients in the would be acceptable. Instead, we found a failure rate of 27.3% surgical group with incisional hernias and 1 of these patients (95% CI, 22.0%-33.2%) and were not able to establish the non- required hernia repair. Twenty-three patients complained of inferiority of antibiotic treatment for appendicitis.
possible adhesion-related problems manifested as difficul- Although we were not able to demonstrate the noninfe- ties with eating and bowel function and abdominal or inci- riority of antibiotic treatment relative to appendectomy for sional pain interfering with daily life as reported by the appendicitis, we did find that 186 of 256 patients with patients within 1 year of surgery. One patient in the surgical uncomplicated acute appendicitis (72.7%; 95% CI, 66.8%- group underwent laparoscopic adhesiolysis. Outside the 78.0%) were successfully treated with antibiotic therapy overall morbidity analysis, 16 patients in the surgical group alone. This compares favorably with the results from previ- reported concerns about poor cosmesis related to their inci- ous randomized trials7-9 and a recent population-based pro- sional scar at 1-year follow-up.
spective study.20 In our study, 70 of the 256 antibiotic- The length of hospital stay (primary hospitalization) was treated patients (27.3%) had an appendectomy. Following statistically significantly shorter (P < .001) in the surgical group randomization, surgeons provided care based on their clini- (median, 3 days; 25th and 75th percentiles, 2 days and 3 days, cal experience and not by protocol.
respectively) than in the antibiotic-treated group (median, 3 Because 8 patients in the antibiotic group that under- days; 25th and 75th percentiles, 3 days and 3 days).
went appendectomy did not have complicated appendicitis, (Reprinted) JAMA June 16, 2015 Volume 313, Number 23
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Research Original Investigation Antibiotics vs Appendectomy for Uncomplicated Appendicitis Treatment they might have been successfully treated with antibiotics broad-spectrum antibiotics like ertapenem is the risk for again had the uncomplicated nature of their appendicitis been developing antibiotic resistance. Future studies of antibiotic known. Five more patients in the antibiotic group underwent treatment for appendicitis should seek efficacy while using appendectomy for suspected recurrent acute appendicitis antibiotics with a more restricted antibacterial spectrum.
based on clinical examination but did not have appendicitis.
The median length of hospital stay was longer in the an- Outcomes from these patients biased our results toward the tibiotic group; however, it was predefined in the protocol for null. No patient in the antibiotic group developed a serious in- the monitoring of patients in the antibiotic group to ensure pa- fection resulting from delayed appendectomy, suggesting that tient safety in the trial. Because none of the patients initially the decision to delay appendectomy for uncomplicated acute treated with antibiotics and later having appendectomy had appendicitis can be made with low likelihood of major com- major complications, the length of hospital stay related to an- plications resulting from delayed surgery.
tibiotic therapy may possibly be shortened in practice. One Earlier trials7-9 (Table 1) showing that acute appendicitis drawback of antibiotic treatment for acute appendicitis is the may be successfully treated with antibiotics have been lim- possible bias due to spontaneously resolving appendicitis. A ited by study design limitations such as reliance on clinical double-blind, placebo-controlled RCT is needed to differen- diagnosis of acute appendicitis, type and duration of antibi- tiate these effects.
otic treatment, unclear determination of the primary end This study had several important limitations. Because ap- point, and highly restrictive patient selection.15,21 Of the prior pendectomy is considered the standard treatment for appen- RCTs assessing antibiotic treatment for appendicitis, only dicitis, we had difficulty enrolling patients into the study. This Vons et al9 used CT imaging confirmation to identify patients caused us to reevaluate the necessary sample size for the study, with uncomplicated acute appendicitis before randomiza- potentially underpowering the study and resulting in indeter- tion. In the other trials, appendicitis was diagnosed by clini- minate results. Even though we had difficulty in getting pa- cal examination without confirmation by radiology. Because tients to enroll in the study, the study population closely re- of its high sensitivity and specificity, CT has become the de sembled nonparticipants who underwent appendectomy facto standard for establishing the diagnosis of appendicitis during the same period at the study hospitals.
in adults.22 Use of CT reduces the negative appendectomy Another limitation is that the most of the appendecto- rate without resulting in increased cases of perforated mies were performed using the open operative approach. Open appendicitis.23-27 Routine use of CT in patients with sus- appendectomy was chosen as the protocol operative interven- pected acute appendicitis can improve patient care by reduc- tion based on both (1) the standardization of the procedure re- ing unnecessary surgery, resulting in more efficient use of garding the large group of surgeons most familiar with the open hospital resources.26 technique and (2) the global generalization of the study re- Similar to Vons et al,9 we minimized the diagnostic uncer- sults because the equipment for laparoscopic appendectomy tainty of appendicitis compared with when the diagnosis is and surgical experience are not available throughout the world.
made on clinical grounds by only enrolling patients into the However, laparoscopic appendectomy is commonly per- trial who had a diagnosis of uncomplicated acute appendici- formed and is associated with less pain, shortened hospital stay, tis confirmed by a CT scan. We excluded patients from enroll- faster return to normal activity, and fewer wound infections.30 ment if they had an appendicolith identified on a CT scan, Given that the most common cause of morbidity in the surgi- whereas Vons et al9 did not. Intraluminal appendicoliths can cal group of our study related to wound infection, the com- predict failed nonoperative management for appendicitis and plication rate might have been less had the operations been the development of complicated acute appendicitis.28,29 Vons et al9 noted that appendicoliths were significantly as- Appendicitis may present in different ways. It can pre- sociated with a greater risk for complicated acute appendici- sent as uncomplicated acute appendicitis as was the case for tis. In their antibiotic-treated group, appendicoliths were as- the patients enrolled in this study. Appendicitis also may pre- sociated with failed antibiotic treatment. If Vons et al9 had sent with complicated disease such as perforation, intra- excluded the patients with appendicoliths, no significant dif- abdominal abscess, or with appendicoliths. Consequently, ference in posttreatment peritonitis would have been found acute appendicitis treatment should be individualized based between the antibiotic and appendectomy groups.
on which form of the disease is present.31 The most severe com- A limitation of prior antibiotic trials for treating appendi- plications of appendicitis are diffuse peritonitis from a perfo- citis was the selection of the antibiotic. To succeed, the anti- rated appendicitis and intra-abdominal abscess. Of note, none biotic must provide broad-spectrum coverage for all the of the antibiotic-treated patients experienced these compli- pathogens that might cause appendicitis. This was a factor in cations, suggesting that not only is acute uncomplicated ap- the Vons et al9 trial in which amoxicillin-clavulanic acid was pendicitis documented by CT not a surgical emergency, but that used to treat appendicitis. This antibiotic is not optimal delay in surgical treatment when preceded by a course of an- because it provides limited coverage for Escherichia coli, a tibiotics has few consequences.
major pathogen in the gastrointestinal tract. To avoid this We did attempt to identify factors predictive of compli- limitation, we used ertapenem in our study because it pro- cated appendicitis by analyzing the patients in the antibiotic vides broad-spectrum coverage and only requires a single, group presenting with complicated acute appendicitis at sur- daily dose. Ertepenem effectively treats serious intra- gery during the initial hospitalization. There were only 7 pa- abdominal infections.18 A potential problem with using tients in the antibiotic group precluding identification of pre- JAMA June 16, 2015 Volume 313, Number 23 (Reprinted)
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Antibiotics vs Appendectomy for Uncomplicated Appendicitis Treatment Original Investigation Research dictive factors for complicated acute appendicitis. There were acute appendicitis were successfully treated with antibiotics.
4 patients with tumors (1.5%) in our study and this percent- None of the patients treated initially with antibiotics and later age is in accordance with a recent large histopathological ap- with appendectomy had major complications. These results pendectomy study.32 The clinical effect of incidental tumors suggest that patients with CT-proven uncomplicated acute ap- of the appendix is unclear because the natural history of these pendicitis should be able to make an informed decision be- lesions is not known. However, the use of CT imaging for di- tween antibiotic treatment and appendectomy. Future stud- agnosing acute appendicitis may also enhance detection of ies should focus both on early identification of complicated these appendiceal tumors.
acute appendicitis patients needing surgery and to prospec- Another feature of our study was the low negative appen- tively evaluate the optimal use of antibiotic treatment in pa- dectomy rate attributable to CT imaging. Use of CT also en- tients with uncomplicated acute appendicitis.
abled us to identify uncomplicated acute appendicitis that wassuccessfully treated with antibiotics alone in the majority ofpatients enrolled in our study. Computed tomographic imaging can result in improved patient care and cost savings.26,33,34 Con-cerns regarding radiation exposure may be minimized by use Among patients with CT-proven, uncomplicated appendici- of low-dose CT for diagnosing acute appendicitis.22 tis, antibiotic treatment did not meet the prespecified crite- Antibiotic treatment of patients with uncomplicated acute rion for noninferiority compared with appendectomy. Most pa- appendicitis was not shown to be noninferior to appendec- tients randomized to antibiotic treatment for uncomplicated tomy for uncomplicated appendicitis within the first year of appendicitis did not require appendectomy during the 1-year observation following initial presentation of appendicitis. Nev- follow-up period, and those who required appendectomy did ertheless, the majority (73%) of patients with uncomplicated not experience significant complications.
ARTICLE INFORMATION Critical revision of the manuscript for important 3. Margenthaler JA, Longo WE, Virgo KS, et al. Risk
Author Affiliations: Division of Digestive Surgery
intellectual content: Salminen, Rautio, Nordström, factors for adverse outcomes after the surgical and Urology, Departments of Acute and Digestive Rantanen, Tuominen, Hurme, Virtanen, Mecklin, treatment of appendicitis in adults. Ann Surg. 2003; Surgery, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland Sand, Jartti, Rinta-Kiikka, Grönroos.
(Salminen, Grönroos); Department of Surgery, Statistical analysis: Salminen, Tuominen, Hurme, 4. McBurney C. Experience with early operative
Turku University, Turku, Finland (Salminen, interference in cases of disease of the vermiform Grönroos); Department of Surgery, Mikkeli Central Obtained funding: Salminen.
appendix. NY Med J. 1889;50:676-684.
Hospital, Mikkeli, Finland (Paajanen); Institute of Administrative, technical, or material support: 5. Fitz R. Perforating inflammation of the
Clinical Medicine, University of Eastern Finland, Salminen, Rautio, Aarnio, Rantanen, Virtanen, vermiform appendix. Am J Med Sci. 1886;92:321-346.
Joensuu, Finland (Paajanen, Rantanen, Mecklin); Mecklin, Sand, Rinta-Kiikka, Grönroos.
Department of Surgery, Oulu University Hospital, Study supervision: Salminen, Paajanen, Nordström, 6. Coldrey E. Treatment of acute appendicitis. Br
Oulu, Finland (Rautio); Division of Surgery, Tuominen, Sand, Jartti, Grönroos.
Med J. 1956;2(5007):1458-1461.
Gastroenterology and Oncology, Tampere Conflict of Interest Disclosures: The authors have
7. Hansson J, Körner U, Khorram-Manesh A,
University Hospital, Tampere, Finland (Nordström, completed and submitted the ICMJE Form for Solberg A, Lundholm K. Randomized clinical trial of Sand); Department of Surgery, Jyväskylä Central Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest. Dr antibiotic therapy versus appendicectomy as Hospital, Jyväskylä, Finland (Aarnio, Mecklin); Salminen reported receiving personal fees for primary treatment of acute appendicitis in Department of Surgery, Kuopio University Hospital, lectures from Merck and Roche. No other unselected patients. Br J Surg. 2009;96(5):473-481.
Kuopio, Finland (Rantanen); Department of disclosures were reported.
8. Styrud J, Eriksson S, Nilsson I, et al.
Surgery, Seinäjoki Central Hospital, Seinäjoki, Funding/Support: The APPAC trial was supported
Appendectomy versus antibiotic treatment in acute Finland (Rantanen); Department of Public Health, by a government research grant (EVO Foundation) appendicitis: a prospective multicenter randomized University of Turku, Turku, Finland (Tuominen); awarded to Turku University Hospital.
controlled trial. World J Surg. 2006;30(6):1033-1037.
Primary Health Care Unit, Hospital District ofSouthwest Finland, Turku, Finland (Tuominen); Role of the Sponsors: The funding organization
9. Vons C, Barry C, Maitre S, et al. Amoxicillin plus
Department of Biostatistics, University of Turku, had no role in the design and conduct of the study; clavulanic acid versus appendicectomy for Turku, Finland (Hurme); Department of Radiology, collection, management, analysis, and treatment of acute uncomplicated appendicitis: an Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland interpretation of the data; preparation, review, or open-label, non-inferiority, randomised controlled (Virtanen); Department of Radiology, Oulu approval of the manuscript; and the decision to University Hospital, Oulu, Finland (Jartti); submit the manuscript for publication.
10. Wilms IM, de Hoog DE, de Visser DC,
Department of Radiology, Tampere University Additional Contributions: We thank all the
Janzing HM. Appendectomy versus antibiotic Hospital, Tampere, Finland (Rinta-Kiikka).
surgeons on call taking part in the enrollment of treatment for acute appendicitis. Cochrane Author Contributions: Drs Salminen and Grönroos
APPAC trial patients. We also thank Heikki Ahtola, Database Syst Rev. 2011;(11):CD008359.
had full access to all of the data in the study and MD (North Carelia Central Hospital, Finland), for his 11. Ansaloni L, Catena F, Coccolini F, et al. Surgery
take responsibility for the integrity of the data and contribution in the study protocol. Dr Ahtola versus conservative antibiotic treatment in acute the accuracy of the data analysis.
received no compensation for his contribution.
appendicitis: a systematic review and meta-analysis Study concept and design: Salminen, Paajanen, of randomized controlled trials. Dig Surg. 2011;28 Rautio, Aarnio, Rantanen, Tuominen, Hurme, Mecklin, Jartti, Grönroos.
1. Livingston EH, Fomby TB, Woodward WA,
12. Liu K, Fogg L. Use of antibiotics alone for
Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: Haley RW. Epidemiological similarities between treatment of uncomplicated acute appendicitis: Salminen, Paajanen, Rautio, Nordström, Rantanen, appendicitis and diverticulitis suggesting a common a systematic review and meta-analysis. Surgery.
Tuominen, Hurme, Virtanen, Sand, Jartti, Rinta- underlying pathogenesis. Arch Surg. 2011;146(3): Kiikka, Grönroos.
Drafting of the manuscript: Salminen, Paajanen, 13. Mason RJ, Moazzez A, Sohn H, Katkhouda N.
2. Leung TT, Dixon E, Gill M, et al. Bowel
Rautio, Aarnio, Tuominen, Hurme, Virtanen, Meta-analysis of randomized trials comparing obstruction following appendectomy: what is the antibiotic therapy with appendectomy for acute true incidence? Ann Surg. 2009;250(1):51-53.
(Reprinted) JAMA June 16, 2015 Volume 313, Number 23
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Research Original Investigation Antibiotics vs Appendectomy for Uncomplicated Appendicitis Treatment uncomplicated (no abscess or phlegmon) 20. Hansson J, Körner U, Ludwigs K, Johnsson E,
28. Aprahamian CJ, Barnhart DC, Bledsoe SE, Vaid
appendicitis. Surg Infect (Larchmt). 2012;13(2):74- Jönsson C, Lundholm K. Antibiotics as first-line Y, Harmon CM. Failure in the nonoperative therapy for acute appendicitis: evidence for a management of pediatric ruptured appendicitis: 14. Varadhan KK, Humes DJ, Neal KR, Lobo DN.
change in clinical practice. World J Surg. 2012;36(9): predictors and consequences. J Pediatr Surg. 2007; Antibiotic therapy versus appendectomy for acute appendicitis: a meta-analysis. World J Surg. 2010;34 21. Andersson RE. The role of antibiotic therapy in
29. Shindoh J, Niwa H, Kawai K, et al. Predictive
the management of acute appendicitis. Curr Infect factors for negative outcomes in initial 15. Varadhan KK, Neal KR, Lobo DN. Safety and
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non-operative management of suspected efficacy of antibiotics compared with 22. Kim K, Kim YH, Kim SY, et al. Low-dose
appendicitis. J Gastrointest Surg. 2010;14(2):309- appendicectomy for treatment of uncomplicated abdominal CT for evaluating suspected acute appendicitis: meta-analysis of randomised appendicitis. N Engl J Med. 2012;366(17):1596-1605.
30. Sauerland S, Jaschinski T, Neugebauer EA.
controlled trials. BMJ. 2012;344:e2156.
23. Coursey CA, Nelson RC, Patel MB, et al. Making
Laparoscopic versus open surgery for suspected 16. Paajanen H, Grönroos JM, Rautio T, et al.
the diagnosis of acute appendicitis: do more appendicitis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010; A prospective randomized controlled multicenter preoperative CT scans mean fewer negative trial comparing antibiotic therapy with appendectomies? a 10-year study. Radiology. 2010; 31. Andersson RE, Schein M. Antibiotics as first-line
appendectomy in the treatment of uncomplicated therapy for acute appendicitis: evidence for a acute appendicitis (APPAC trial). BMC Surg. 2013;13: 24. Raja AS, Wright C, Sodickson AD, et al. Negative
change in clinical practice. World J Surg. 2012;36(9): appendectomy rate in the era of CT: an 18-year 17. World Medical Association. World Medical
32. Charfi S, Sellami A, Affes A, Yaïch K, Mzali R,
Association Declaration of Helsinki: ethical 25. Raman SS, Osuagwu FC, Kadell B, Cryer H,
Boudawara TS. Histopathological findings in principles for medical research involving human Sayre J, Lu DS. Effect of CT on false positive appendectomy specimens: a study of 24,697 cases.
diagnosis of appendicitis and perforation. N Engl J Int J Colorectal Dis. 2014;29(8):1009-1012.
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Infectious Diseases Society of America. Surg Infect hospital resources. N Engl J Med. 1998;338(3):141- Mandatory imaging cuts costs and reduces the rate of unnecessary surgeries in the diagnostic work-up 19. Horan TC, Gaynes RP, Martone WJ, Jarvis WR,
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Source: http://files.javier-montero-perez.webnode.es/200000039-c48acc583f/Apendicitis%20aguda_atbsocirugia2015.pdf

Women's health west quarterly policy and law reform scan

Women's Health West Policy and Law Reform Scan This scan is provided to inform the WHW strategic planning process. It outlines key policy documents, legislative reforms and the external policy environment that relate to women's health, safety and wellbeing. © Women's Health West International Context International Gender Equality In November 2015, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) held a 16-day international conference in Istanbul to end men's violence against women. Official representatives from more than 40 countries vowed to take a zero tolerance approach and immediate action to end the global epidemic of violence against women. They agreed to greater investment in gender equality, to share data on violence against women and to strengthen existing laws to protect women. The conference was held 20 years after the landmark Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, which was adopted by 189 countries in 1995 and set the most progressive agenda for advancing women's rights. Since the conference, the Executive Directors of UN Women and UNFPA launched the Essential Services Package, a toolkit of guidelines, services and best practice to support women and girls subjected to violence. This resource can be found here: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau selects a 50-50 cabinet (2015) In November newly elected Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced his cabinet which for the first time in Canadian history is made up of 15 men and 15 women. When asked at a press conference why he chose a gender balanced cabinet, the self-declared feminist's answer was brief: "Because it's 2015". The new gender division comes on top of existing cabinet-making criteria for regional, linguistic and ethnic representation, including the practice of selecting at least one minister from each of the country's 10 provinces. Trudeau's cabinet also includes a former Afghanistan refugee as the minister of democratic institutions, a para-Olympic swimmer from Vancouver in the sports ministry and an Aboriginal lawyer as minister of justice and attorney general. More details about Trudeau's cabinet can be found her Nepal's first female Prime Minister (2015) Nepal has elected a long-time women's rights campaigner as the country's first female president, as the Himalayan nation pushes for more gender equity in politics and civic life. Bidhya Devi Bhandari, the 54-year-old deputy leader of Nepal's Communist Party of Nepal Unified Marxist-Leninist, had lobbied actively for the new constitution to require that either the president or vice-president be a woman. Bidhya Devi Bhandari said her election by the Parliament marked a first step towards assuring these constitutional guarantees of equality are fulfilled. The constitution now requires that one-third of the country's legislators be women, and that women be included in all government committees. Bidhya Devi Bhandari has also promised to actively champion the rights of minority groups and women in Nepal. Global Ambassador for Women and Girls Former Democrats leader Natasha Stott Despoja has been appointed to this position by Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop. This follows her appointment as founding chair of the Foundation to prevent Violence against Women and their Children. The minister sees ‘one of the best ways to achieve peace and security and…achieve stronger communities and societies is to empower the women and the girls in your populations'. Further information can be found at: Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations (2013) Australia is currently participating in the final stages of negotiations for the Trans Pacific Partnership; an agreement to regulate free trade in the Asia-Pacific region. While the details of the agreement are yet to be released, a draft of the intellectual property chapter was leaked in November 2013. United States draft proposals for expanded patent protection have led many academics and public health professions to question what the agreement might mean for timely access to affordable medicines. In response, a motion was passed in the senate calling for early release of the draft text and greater public scrutiny of the agreement. The following areas of concern were raised in the letter presented to the federal Minister for Health by 44 prominent academics in public health and health sciences:


New Leaf Treatment Center (NLTC) Lafayette, CA Outpatient Sedative-Hypnotic Detoxification: Symptom-guided Detoxification Using Replacement and Adjunctive Medications Alex Stalcup, M.D., Linda Hickman, R.N., B.S.N., M.A., Gantt P. Galloway, Pharm.D. Introduction: Addiction and dependency are a disease of the pleasure-producing chemistry of the brain. The principal mechanism of addictive disease is the brain's relentless neuroadaptation induced by over-exposure to psychoactive chemicals. A period of regular sedative-hypnotic substance use will produce these adaptive changes in the brain. As a result of this neuroadaptation, sedative-hypnotics are often used addictively and when prescribed patients all too easily fall into dependent use patterns. For dependent individuals, abrupt discontinuation of sedative-hypnotics can result in life-threatening or fatal withdrawal symptoms. The harmful effects of sedative-hypnotic dependency include impaired cognition (memory and concentration are challenged), emotional blunting (failure to process emotional experiences such as loss), weakness and poor coordination (increasing the risk of injury) and worsening anxiety as tolerance develops. Whether the dependency is the result self-administration practices or arises out of the all too common over-prescribing of benzodiazepine tranquilizers and addictive sleep aides, the fact remains that managing the appearance of side effects or withdrawal poses a difficult challenge to the user and the clinician. Withdrawal from any psychoactive drug results in mood and functional disturbance: dysphoria, anergia, anhedonia and craving for the drug. Cessation of sedative-hypnotic drug use (or tolerance unmet by the current dose) typically causes a cluster of withdrawal symptoms. These withdrawal symptoms tend to be the opposite of the symptoms the sedative-hypnotic drug was designed to control. As such, the hallmark of benzodiazepine withdrawal symptom is anxiety. Dependence produces withdrawal symptoms which range from tachycardia, hypertension, confusion, with delirium and seizures characterizing the most severe cases (see NLTC website for a copy of the Sedative-Hypnotic Symptom Assessment Key which provides a list of typical withdrawal symptoms and a method for scoring symptom severity). Dependent individuals begin to report withdrawal symptoms between doses because tolerance needs are not being met with the current dosing regimen The intensity and health risks of withdrawal symptoms will be influenced by many variables (e.g. which sedative-hypnotics have been used, dosage, duration of dependency, number of withdrawal experiences producing kindling effects and individual physiology). We note that it has long been known that chronic alcoholics are at risk for fatal seizures if alcohol is abruptly discontinued, yet all too often the same logic is not applied to abrupt discontinuation of other sedative-hypnotics when in fact the same risk exists. The protracted suffering and distress of withdrawal leaves the user dysfunctional and at high risk of relapse. Therefore, optimal treatment of any addiction or dependence ought to focus on minimizing, and

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