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Welcome to the UK Clinical Trials Gateway

Our site is here to help you find out about health and social care research that is taking place across the UK.

You can find out what 'clinical trials' and 'health and social care research' involves as well as finding out about studies that are happening right now into any condition or disease area.

  • Find out what research is.

  • Learn about why health and social care research is so important and how it might benefit you.

  • Discover what taking part in studies or trials can involve.

  • Read our tips to help you decide if you want to take part in a study you have heard about.

  • Search for studies that are of interest to you and use the study teams' contact details to let researchers know you'd like to take part.

  • Read the latest research findings.


Latest research findings


from the NIHR Dissemination Centre

Better pain relief for women in labour
Women in labour, who had the short acting strong painkiller remifentanil, rather than pethidine, had less need for further pain relief. Only 19% of women given remifentanil received a subsequent epidural compared with 41% given pethidine. Remifentanil was given intravenously, using a patient-controlled delivery device, and pethidine given by intramuscular injection. This NIHR-funded study is the first large trial to compare intravenous remifentanil (administered via a patient-controlled delivery device) with intramuscular pethidine for women requesting opioid pain relief in labour. Opioid drugs can cause maternal sedation and depression of the baby's breathing but this trial found no difference in adverse maternal or neonatal outcomes between drugs. One caution is the potential for subjective bias. A quarter of women allocated to pethidine who converted to epidural requested this before they had even received the drug Nevertheless, this study could pave the way for patient-controlled remifentanil to have more widespread use in the UK.
09 October 2018

No benefit from monitoring antiepileptic drug levels in pregnancy
Regular monitoring of antiepileptic drug levels in pregnant women with epilepsy does not improve seizure control compared with clinical features-based monitoring. This NIHR-funded study was conducted across 50 UK hospitals and is the largest randomised trial in pregnant women with epilepsy. Just over 260 pregnant women with unstable antiepileptic drug levels were assigned to ongoing monthly blood checks or clinical features monitoring. There were no differences in seizures or other pregnancy outcomes between the two strategies. But umbilical cord blood showed that babies whose mothers received blood checks were exposed to higher levels of antiepileptic drugs. The study provides important information about the utility of monitoring blood levels of antiepileptic drugs, which previously was standard clinical practice. NICE guidelines advised against routine monitoring in 2012 and this trial gives support to this recommendation.
09 October 2018

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The UK Clinical Trials Gateway is designed to help you participate in clinical trials running in the UK.

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