New York, Aug 7 (IANS) A group of medications long prescribed to treat tapeworm has inspired a compound that shows two-pronged effectiveness against Covid-19 in laboratory studies, a new study suggests.The study, published in the journal ACS Infectious Disease, indicates that the compound, part of a class of molecules called salicylanilides, was designed in the laboratory by a team of researchers, including Kim Janda from Scripps Research."It has been known for 10 or 15 years that salicylanilides work against certain viruses. However, they tend to be gut-restricted and can have toxicity issues," Janda said.The compound overcomes both issues, in mouse and cell-based tests, acting as both an antiviral and an anti-inflammatory drug-like compound, with properties that auger well for its use in pill form.The modified salicylanilide compound that Janda created was one of about 60 that he built years ago for another project.When the SARS-CoV-2 virus became a global pandemic in early 2020, knowing that they may have antiviral properties, he started screening his old collection, first in cells and later in rodent studies.The study indicated that one compound stood out. Dubbed simply "No 11," it differs from the commercial tapeworm medicines in key ways, including its ability to pass beyond the gut and be absorbed into the bloodstream -- and without the worrisome toxicity.About 80 per cent of salicylanilide 11 passed into the bloodstream, compared to about 10 per cent of the anti-parasitic drug niclosamide, which has recently entered clinical trials as a Covid-19 treatment, the researcher said.The experiments showed that of the many modified salicylanilides he had built in his laboratory, No 11 affected pandemic coronavirus infections in two ways.First, it interfered with how the virus deposited its genetic material into infected cells, a process called endocytosis which requires the virus to form a lipid-based packet around viral genes.The packet enters the infected cell and dissolves, so the infected cell's protein-building machinery can read it and churn out new viral copies. No 11 appears to prevent the packet's dissolution."The compound's antiviral mechanism is the key," Janda said."It blocks the viral material from getting out of the endosome, and it just gets degraded. This process does not allow new viral particles to be made as readily," the researcher added.Importantly, because it acts inside cells rather than on viral spikes, questions about whether it would work in new variants like Delta and Lambda aren't a concern, he adds."This mechanism is not dependent on the virus spike protein, so these new variants coming up aren't going to relegate us to finding new molecules as is the case with vaccines or antibodies," Janda said.--IANSvc/skp/
New May 26 (IANS) Ayush Minister Kiren Rijiju will launch the Ayush Clinical Case Repository (ACCR) portal and the third version of Ayush Sanjivani App on Thursday in a virtual event.The Ayush Clinical Repository (ACCR) portal will serve as a platform to support both Ayush practitioners and the general public. This portal aims to aggregate information about clinical outcomes achieved by Ayush practitioners on a large scale.This version facilitates a significant study/ documentation regarding the efficacy of selected Ayush interventions, including Ayush 64 and Kabasura Kudineer medicines in the management of asymptomatic and mild to moderate Covid-19 patients.A national distribution campaign is on through which the Ayush Ministry is providing these two very effective Ayush formulations free to Covid patients who are in home isolation.It will facilitate not just dissemination of information but also further analysis and research. It is expected to document the strengths of Ayush systems for treatment of various disease conditions.The portal will not only benefit the practitioner community and the public but will also help widen the solid scientific base of all streams of Ayush. One notable feature of the ACCR portal is the dedicated section for reporting and publishing details of Covid 19 cases treated through Ayush Systems.The Ayush Sanjivani App (version three) is now published on Google Play Store and iOS. --IANS miz/ash
New York- The overuse of antibiotics occurs due to the mistaken widespread belief that they are beneficial for a broad array of conditions and because many physicians are willing to prescribe antibiotics if patients ask for the medication, a new study suggests.
In children, improper antibiotic use can alter the microbiome while their immunological, metabolic and neural systems are developing, suggests the study published in the journal BioEssays.
And, in adults, there is increasing evidence that antibiotics may enhance risk for metabolic and neoplastic diseases, including diabetes, kidney stones and growths in the colon and rectum that can lead to cancer.
The global use of antibiotics between 2000 and 2015 increased 39 per cent, with a 77 per cent increase in low- and middle-income countries, said lead author Martin Blaser from the Rutgers University in the US.
Antibiotic overuse is when antibiotics are used when they are not needed. Antibiotics are one of the great advances in medicine. But overprescribing them has led to resistant bacteria that are harder to treat.
For the study, the research team reviewed more than 200 peer-reviewed studies to examine the causes behind antibiotic overuse, which can lead harmful bacteria to become drug-resistant and cause harmful effects on the microbiome, the collection of beneficial germs that live in and on our bodies.
Studies in the US, UK and China found numerous online pharmacies selling antibiotics without a prescription. This is also a major problem in Iow- to middle-income countries, where 60 per cent of antibiotics are sold without prescription, often by untrained medical practitioners.
The researchers said that clinicians need to be better educated about the long-term effects on the microbiome and learn about better ways to speak with their patients about antibiotic risks and benefits.
They also need to improve their communication about the consequences of antibiotic treatment and identify alternatives. (IANS)
London, Aug 24 (IANS) In a fight against the novel coronavirus, researchers have found that medication for high blood pressure could improve Covid-19 survival rates and reduce the severity of the infection.For the study, published in the journal Current Atherosclerosis Reports, the research team studied 28,000 patients taking antihypertensives -- a class of drugs that are used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure).They found that the risk of severe Covid-19 illness and death was reduced for patients with high blood pressure who were taking Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme inhibitors (ACEi) or Angiotensin Receptor Blockers (ARB)."At the start of the pandemic, there was concern that specific medications for high blood pressure could be linked with worse outcomes for Covid-19 patients," said study lead author Vassilios Vassiliou from the University of East Anglia in the UK."We wanted to find out what the impact of these medications is for people with Covid-19," Vassiliou added. Therefore, the research team studied the outcomes for patients taking antihypertensives -- looking particularly at what they call 'critical' outcomes such as being admitted to intensive care or being put on a ventilator, and death.The team analysed data from 19 studies related to Covid-19 and ACEi and ARB medications. The meta-analysis involved more than 28,000 patients and is the largest and most detailed such study to date.They compared data from Covid-19 patients who were taking ACEi or ARB medications with those who were not -- focusing on whether they experienced 'critical' events (admission to intensive care and invasive or non-invasive ventilation) and death."We found that a third of Covid-19 patients with high blood pressure and a quarter of patients overall were taking an ACEi/ARBs," Vassiliou said. This is likely due to the increased risk of infection in patients with co-morbidities such as cardiovascular diseases, hypertension and diabetes."But the really important thing that we showed was that there is no evidence that these medications might increase the severity of Covid-19 or risk of death," the study authors wrote."On the contrary, we found that there was a significantly lower risk of death and critical outcomes, so they might, in fact, have a protective role -- particularly in patients with hypertension. Covid-19 patients with high blood pressure who were taking ACEi/ARB medications were 0.67 times less likely to have a critical or fatal outcome than those not taking these medications. Our research provides substantial evidence to recommend continued use of these medications if the patients were taking them already," the study authors noted.--IANSbu/avk/dpb
London - Women are more likely to die early after heart attack than men because they are often not prescribed the drugs they need, according to a new study.
"Female heart attack patients may appear more fragile to physicians since they are often older than men, with smaller bodies and more co-existing conditions, such as diabetes and kidney disease," said study author Claudio Montalto of the University of Pavia in Italy.
"Therefore, doctors might avoid potent anti-platelets (a type of blood thinner) and aggressive blood pressure lowering," Montalto said.
For the study, presented on ACVC Essentials 4U, a scientific platform of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), the researchers enrolled 1,523 patients, including 471 (31 per cent) women, diagnosed with heart attack between 2015 and 2017.
Prescribed medications as well as medical reasons for not giving certain drugs were recorded. While the rate of in-hospital death was similar between sexes, but after an average 264-day follow-up it was found that more women had died.
"Previous studies had established excess deaths in female heart attack patients, so we expected this result," said Montalto.
A significantly lower number of women received optimal medical therapy at discharge (55 per cent women vs 64 per cent men). Women were also less likely to undergo invasive procedures compared with men (71 per cent women vs 83 per cent men).
"Our study suggests it's not being female that causes more deaths, but receiving fewer recommended drugs. In fact, getting the right medication nearly halves the risk of dying," Montalto said.
The study also collected data on contraindication. A contraindication is a condition or factor that serves as a reason to withhold a certain medical treatment due to the harm that it would cause the patient.
"This enabled us to discriminate whether non-prescription of a drug was due to contraindication or not," he said.
"Appropriate drug prescription is easily improved with increased knowledge of guideline recommendations and closer attention to contraindication to drug therapy. Our study indicates that these actions could improve the outcome of female heart attack patients," Montalto said. --IANS
New Delhi, April 18 (IANS) The novel coronavirus pandemic has brought about a sudden change in the medication needs of masses with a clear preference being shown for respiratory, anti-diabetic, cardiac therapies as compared to anti-infective, gastro, vitamin or pain therapies that had commanded higher demand in pre-Covid period.In the month of March, demand for Cardiac drugs grew by 18.8 per cent yoy and Anti-Diabetic segment grew at 14.4 per cent yoy due to pre-empted buying ahead of the lockdown. Similarly, the Respiratory segment (+26 per cent yoy) saw higher demand due to Covid-19 as the virus is known to impact this critical function of the human body.Segments like Derma/Gynaec/Vitamins, where the demand for drugs has always remained ahead of others declined year-on-year in March, clearly bringing out the shift in drug use by Indians, especially during the time of lockdown.According to a Emkay research report, the changing preference of drugs by people has also had an impact on the Indian pharmaceutical industry with companies having stronger drug brands dealing with respiratory, cardiac and anti-diabetic therapies registering growth higher than the industry average.Accordingly, while Carols Healthcare, Dr Reddy's Labs, Alkem having higher drug concentration in acute exposure category underperformed the Indian Pharmaceutical Market (IPM), Sun Pharma, Torrent Pharma, Lupin outperformed the market due to their high chronic portfolio.Cipla, Glenmark outperformed due to strong respiratory demand, while IPCA benefitted from high hydroxychloroquine sales, which has been touted as wonder drug having potential to positively impact severe Covid-19 patients.The brokerage report said that the Indian pharmaceutical market (IPM) growth slowed down to 5.4 per cent yoy in March 2020 as companies with acute-heavy portfolios reported weak growth on account of the countrywide lockdown. Volume growth was flat at 0.6 per cent yoy. On Moving average total basis, IPM growth stands at 10.8 per cent yoy, led by price hikes of 5.1 per cent.--IANSsn/skp/