Confusingly, mildly red eyes are more likely to need antibiotics than moderately or severely red ones in conjunctivitis. A more useful finding of the same study was that purulent discharge was associated with a need for antibiotics.
And there’s hope for getting long-term benzo users off their hook. Three RCTs show that a letter to patients, with or without a short consultation, persuaded one in twelve long-term users to kick the habit. The points to include were:
- concern over the patient’s long-term use of hypnotics
- potential side-effects
- advice on gradual reduction.
The studies in question are:
- Bashir K, King M, Ashworth M. Controlled evaluation of brief intervention by general practitioners to reduce chronic use of benzodiazepines. Br J Gen Pract. 1994;44(386):408–12.
- Cormack MA, Sweeney KG, Hughes-Jones H, et al. Evaluation of an easy, cost-effective strategy for cutting benzodiazepine use in general practice. Br J Gen Pract. 1994;44(378):5–8.
- Heather NA, Bowie A, Ashton H, et al. Randomized controlled trial of two brief interventions against long-term benzodiazepine use: outcome of intervention. Addict Res Theory. 2004;12:141–54.