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Welcome to the UK Clinical Trials Gateway

Thank you for visiting the UK Clinical Trials Gateway. We hope it gives you a clear understanding of what is involved if you participate in a clinical trial. You can search this site in various ways to find trials relevant to you and contact researchers yourself.

But, before doing any of this, you may have questions about trials, what they are and how they work. Indeed, you may have come to this site because your doctor has invited you to join a trial but you want to know more before you decide.

Taking part in medical research is a big step. It can potentially deliver great benefits to you or a loved one but it may also involve some inconvenience or risk. This site includes plenty of information about what a trial involves and what you can expect if you take part (more here).

We hope the general information about trials is useful. You may find that individual trial records contain complex scientific and medical terms and are hard to understand. We are working to address this (more here) and hope that you are able to find out what you need from the contact named on the trial record or from your own doctor.

We continue to introduce and test new features on the site and welcome your feedback and comments.If you have any general questions about the UKCTG website or suggestions about how we can improve it, please feel free to contact us at ukctg@nihr.ac.uk.


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Latest research findings


from the NIHR Dissemination Centre

Lying on one’s side in labour with an epidural is safe and leads to more spontaneous births
Women who lie on their side in the second stage of labour after a low-dose epidural are more likely to give birth spontaneously than those who remain upright when actively contracting. Lying down on either side doesn’t appear to be harmful to mothers or babies. This means that 17 of these women would need to lie on their side instead of maintaining an upright position for one more of them to have an unassisted or “spontaneous” birth. This UK trial looked at how position in labour affects the type of birth in first-time mothers after a low-dose epidural. The current guidance recommends an upright position when actively contracting in the later stages of labour. However, this research suggests that for first-time mothers with epidurals, lying on their side could be considered.
12 December 2017

Two nerve drugs are not suitable for treating long-term low back pain
The drugs gabapentin and pregabalin (gabapentinoids) were found not to help lower back pain that had lasted more than three months. Gabapentin gave no benefit compared with placebo, while pregabalin was less effective than other painkillers. Both were associated with several side effects, such as dizziness. Long-term low back pain without clear cause is very common. It causes considerable loss of productivity and places a high demand on the healthcare service. It is difficult to treat, and people often get limited relief from simple painkillers, causing practitioners to consider alternative options. This review gathered eight trials looking at gabapentinoids for adults with long-term lower back pain. The evidence was very low quality, but overall, supports NICE guidance not to use these drugs to treat long-term lower back pain. Larger, high-quality studies may provide further insight, particularly regarding their value when there is associated sciatica as gabapentinoids may help some types of nerve pain.
05 December 2017

Low FODMAP diet may improve irritable bowel symptoms more than other diets
Adults with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) who followed a low FODMAP diet had fewer symptoms than those who followed standard dietary advice. They scored their symptoms about 50 points better on a 500 point scale. The low FODMAP diet is an emerging approach for IBS. It is based on the theory that certain carbohydrates can expand or ferment in the gut and cause symptoms for some people. This review included five randomised trials in adults who rated their symptoms before and after introducing the low FODMAP diet, or a standard diet, for between one and three months. There are weaknesses in the reporting of this review and uncertainties about the reliability of the underlying trials and the duration of any benefit. However, given the chronic nature of IBS and negative impact on quality of life, FODMAP may be worth considering despite the comparatively low qualityevidence.
05 December 2017

More research news on clinical trials

Better healthcare starts with you

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

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