Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Journal: Pharmacology research & perspectives


The aim of this study was to assess and compare the pharmacokinetics (PK) and safety of Enasidenib in healthy adult male Japanese subjects to healthy adult male Caucasian subjects. This was a phase 1, single dose study to evaluate the PK and safety of Enasidenib in healthy adult male Japanese subjects relative to healthy adult male Caucasian subjects. A total of 62 subjects (31 Japanese and 31 Caucasian) were enrolled into three dose cohorts (single doses of 50 mg, 100 mg, or 300 mg Enasidenib). Blood samples for PK assessment were collected up to 672 hours postdose. Safety was evaluated throughout the study. In the present study, we found that PK exposures of Enasidenib and its metabolite AGI-16903 for Caucasian and Japanese subjects were comparable at the 50, 100, and 300 mg dose levels, demonstrated by that the 90% confidence intervals (CIs) of geometric mean ratios for AUCs and Cmax between these two populations generally contained 100% from all three treatment cohorts. In conclusion, PK exposures of Enasidenib and its metabolite AGI-16903 for Caucasians and Japanese subjects were comparable and Enasidenib was safe and well tolerated with no apparent differences between Japanese and Caucasian subjects when administered as single oral doses of 50 mg, 100 mg, and 300 mg.


Montelukast, a selective leukotriene receptor antagonist, is recommended in guidelines for the treatment of asthma in both children and adults. However, its effectiveness is debated, and recent studies have reported several adverse events such as neuropsychiatric disorders and allergic granulomatous angiitis. This study aims to obtain more insight into the safety profile of montelukast and to provide prescribing physicians with an overview of relevant adverse drug reactions in both children and adults. We retrospectively studied all adverse drug reactions on montelukast in children and adults reported to the Netherlands Pharmacovigilance Center Lareb and the WHO Global database, VigiBase(®) until 2016. Depression was reported most frequently in the whole population to the global database VigiBase(®) (reporting odds ratio (ROR) 6.93; 95% CI: 6.5-7.4). In the VigiBase(®) , aggression was reported the most in children (ROR, 29.77; 95% CI: 27.5-32.2). Headaches were reported the most frequently to the Dutch database (ROR, 2.26; 95% CI: 1.61-3.19). Furthermore, nightmares are often reported for both children and adults to the Dutch and the global database. Eight patients with allergic granulomatous angiitis were reported to the Dutch database and 563 patients in the VigiBase(®) . These data demonstrate that montelukast is associated with neuropsychiatric adverse drug reactions such as depression and aggression. Especially in children nightmares are reported frequently. Allergic granulomatous angiitis is also reported, a causal relationship has not been established.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Asthma, Receptor, Ligand, Receptor antagonist, Adverse drug reaction, Netherlands, Leukotriene


Cannabidiol (CBD) is the second most abundant component of the Cannabis plant and is known to have effects distinct from Δ9 -tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Many studies that examined the behavioral effects of CBD concluded that it lacks the psychotomimetic effects attributed to THC. However, CBD was shown to have a broad spectrum of effects on several conditions such as anxiety, inflammation, neuropathic pain, and epilepsy. It is currently thought that CBD engages different targets and hence CBD’s effects are thought to be due to multiple molecular mechanisms of action. A well-accepted set of targets include GPCRs and ion channels, with the serotonin 5-HT1A receptor and the transient receptor potential cation channel TRPV1 channel being the two main targets. CBD has also been thought to target G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) such as cannabinoid and opioid receptors. Other studies have suggested a role for additional GPCRs and ion channels as targets of CBD. Currently, the clinical efficacy of CBD is not completely understood. Evidence derived from randomized clinical trials, in vitro and in vivo models and real-world observations support the use of CBD as a drug treatment option for anxiety, neuropathy, and many other conditions. Hence an understanding of the current status of the field as it relates to the targets for CBD is of great interest so, in this review, we include findings from recent studies that highlight these main targets.


Vitamin D supplementation with standard treatment yielded positive clinical outcomes in mild and moderate atopic dermatitis; however, the potential benefit of vitamin D in severe cases remains unclear. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of vitamin D supplementation on response to standard treatment in pediatrics with severe atopic dermatitis. The patients were randomized to receive either vitamin D 3 1600 IU/day or placebo, plus baseline therapy of topical 1% hydrocortisone cream twice daily for 12 weeks. The primary endpoints were the change in mean Eczema Area and Severity Index (EASI) score at the end of the study and the mean percent change in EASI score from baseline to week 12. Eighty-six subjects completed the study. The treated group achieved a significant higher level of 25 hydroxy vitamin D (P < .001) compared to control group at week 12. The mean EASI score was significantly lower in the treatment group compared to placebo group (P = .035). The percent change in EASI score from baseline differed significantly between the supplementation (56.44 ± 29.33) and placebo (42.09 ± 19.22) groups after intervention (P = .039). Vitamin D supplementation could be an effective adjuvant treatment that improves the clinical outcomes in severe atopic dermatitis.


COR388, a small-molecule lysine-gingipain inhibitor, is currently being investigated in a Phase 2/3 clinical trial for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) with exploratory endpoints in periodontal disease. Gingipains are produced by two species of bacteria, Porphyromonas gingivalis and Porphyromonas gulae, typically associated with periodontal disease and systemic infections in humans and dogs, respectively. P. gulae infection in dogs is associated with periodontal disease, which provides a physiologically relevant model to investigate the pharmacology of COR388. In the current study, aged dogs with a natural oral infection of P. gulae and periodontal disease were treated with COR388 by oral administration for up to 90 days to assess lysine-gingipain target engagement and reduction of bacterial load and downstream pathology. In a 28-day dose-response study, COR388 inhibited the lysine-gingipain target and reduced P. gulae load in saliva, buccal cells, and gingival crevicular fluid. The lowest effective dose was continued for 90 days and was efficacious in continuous reduction of bacterial load and downstream periodontal disease pathology. In a separate histology study, dog brain tissue showed evidence of P. gulae DNA and neuronal lysine-gingipain, demonstrating that P. gulae infection is systemic and spreads beyond its oral reservoir, similar to recent observations of P. gingivalis in humans. Together, the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of COR388 lysine-gingipain inhibition, along with reduction of bacterial load and periodontal disease in naturally occurring P. gulae infection in the dog, support the use of COR388 in targeting lysine-gingipain and eliminating P. gingivalis infection in humans.


Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a chronic, progressive disease, that can advance to fibrosis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. Despite being a leading cause of liver transplantation, there are no approved pharmacological treatments. Our aim was to identify literature on management options in NASH. Our structured review of interventions treating NASH patients from English language publications between 1 January 2007 and 25 September 2017 elicited 48 eligible references. Lifestyle management was identified as the mainstay of NASH therapy. Vitamin E and pioglitazone reported reductions in steatosis; however, although recommended for some, no therapies are indicated in NASH. Multiple investigational treatments reported efficacy in mild-to-moderate fibrosis in Phase II/III NASH trials. Lifestyle management, although the focus of clinical guidelines, is insufficient for patients progressing to advanced fibrosis. With no clear guidelines for patients requiring interventions beyond lifestyle modification, long-term outcomes data are needed, particularly in patients with moderate-to-severe fibrosis.


Opioid use disorder (OUD) affects an estimated 16 million people worldwide. The diagnosis of OUD is commonly delayed or missed altogether. We aimed to test the utility of machine learning in creating a prediction model and algorithm for early diagnosis of OUD.


While the placebo effect has been studied for a long time, much less is known about its negative counterpart, named the nocebo effect. However, it may be of particular importance because of its impact on the treatment outcomes and public health. We conducted a review on the nocebo effect using PubMed and other databases up to July 2014. The nocebo effect refers by definition to the induction or the worsening of symptoms induced by sham or active therapies. Examples are numerous and concerns both clinical trials and daily practice. The underlying mechanisms are, on one hand, psychological (conditioning and negative expectations) and, on the other hand, neurobiological (role of cholecystokinin, endogenous opioids and dopamine). Nocebo effects can modulate the outcome of a given therapy in a negative way, as do placebo effects in a positive way. The verbal and nonverbal communications of physicians contain numerous unintentional negative suggestions that may trigger a nocebo response. This raises the important issue of how physicians can at the same time obtain informed consent and minimize nocebo-related risks. Every physician has to deal with this apparent contradiction between primum non nocere and to deliver truthful information about risks. Meticulous identification of patients at risk, information techniques such as positive framing, contextualized informed consent, and even noninformation, is valuable.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Clinical trial, Medical ethics, Informed consent, Belief, Nocebo, Placebo


To evaluate the onset timing of musculoskeletal adverse events (MAEs) that develop during statin monotherapy and to determine whether concomitant drugs used concurrently with statin therapy shifts the onset timing of MAEs. Cases in which statins (atorvastatin, rosuvastatin, simvastatin, lovastatin, fluvastatin, pitavastatin, and pravastatin) were prescribed were extracted from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) Data Files. The onset timing of MAEs during statin monotherapy was evaluated by determining the difference between statin start date and MAE onset date. The use of concomitant drugs with statin therapy was included in the analysis. Statins used in combination with concomitant drugs were compared with statin monotherapy to determine if the use of concomitant drugs shifted the onset timing of MAEs. The onset of MAEs was significantly faster with atorvastatin and rosuvastatin than with simvastatin. A difference in onset timing was not detected with other statins because the number of cases was too small for analysis. When evaluating concomitant drug use, the concomitant drugs that shifted the onset timing of MAEs could not be detected. Statins with strong low-density lipoprotein cholesterol-lowering effects (atorvastatin and rosuvastatin) contributed not only to a high risk of MAE onset, but also to a shorter time-to-onset. No concomitant drug significantly shifted the onset timing of MAEs when used concurrently with statins.


There is lack of knowledge about the safety of treatment with methadone and buprenorphine as part of opioid maintenance treatment (OMT) during pregnancy. The purpose of this study was to examine neonatal outcomes concerning the use of OMT during pregnancy. We used nationwide registry linkages from the Czech Republic (2000-2014) and Norway (2004-2013). We compared prenatally OMT-exposed newborns with (a) newborns of women hospitalized with opioid use disorder during pregnancy in the Czech sample and (b) newborns with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) in Norway. We performed multivariate linear and binary logistic regression exploring the associations between OMT and neonatal outcomes (growth parameters, gestational age, fetal death, small for gestational age, Apgar score, and NAS). Regression coefficients (b) and odds ratios (ORs) were estimated. The cohorts consisted of 333 Czech, and 235 Norwegian OMT-exposed newborns, and 106 and 294 newborns in the comparison groups, respectively. In both countries, the neonatal growth parameters were similar in the OMT and the comparison groups. In Norway, OMT exposure prolonged gestational age (adjusted b = 0.96 weeks, 95% confidence interval [CI] =0.39-1.53) while the odds of preterm birth and Apgar score at 5 minutes were lower than in the comparison group (adjusted OR = 0.35, 0.16-0.75 and aOR = 0.21, 0.06-0.78, respectively). Newborns of women in OMT had similar growth parameters as newborns of women with opioid use disorders who were not in OMT during pregnancy. Overall, our findings do not suggest that OMT results in worse neonatal outcomes.