An online survey of Australian physicians reported practice with the off-label use of nebulised frusemide
1 Centre for Cardiovascular & Chronic Care, Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery & Health, University of Technology Sydney, PO Box 123 Broadway, Sydney, NSW, 2007, Australia
2 Department of Palliative Care, Calvary Health Care, 91-111 Rocky Point Road, Beverley Park, Sydney, NSW, 2217, Australia
BMC Palliative Care 2012, 11:6 doi:10.1186/1472-684X-11-6Published: 30 April 2012
Off-label prescribing is common in palliative care. Despite inconsistent reports of the benefit of nebulised frusemide for breathlessness, its use continues to be reported.
An online survey was emailed to 249 members of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine to estimate the use of nebulised frusemide for breathlessness by Australian physicians involved in palliative care in the previous 12 months.
There were 52/249 (21%) respondents to the survey. The majority (44/52; 85%) had not prescribed nebulised frusemide in the previous 12 months. The most common (18/44; 43%) reason for not prescribing nebulised frusemide was a belief that there was not enough evidence to support its use. Whilst only a few respondents (8/52; 15%) reported having used nebulised frusemide, all that had used it thought there was at least some benefit in relieving breathlessness.
This report adds to the series of case studies reporting some benefit from nebulised frusemide in relieving breathlessnes.