The difficult experience of treating scabies in an elderly hospital reaffirmed my determination and responsibilities as a pharmacist. In 2000, there was no effective treatment for scabies in Japan. With the Japan Pharmaceutical Association as well as the Japanese Dermatological Association, the indication of ivermectin which is the intestinal fecal nematode was expanded for scabies. Since it was found that the administration of ivermectin through a tube to patients who could not take it orally had a dose loss of 50% depending on the injection method, an appropriate administration method was proposed. However, the oral administration of ivermectin has side effects including systemic liver damage, and external preparations require labor for systemic application, and recurrence from unapplied areas is also a problem. Therefore, we devised a whole-body bathing, in which patients are immersed in a fluid that contains ivermectin. The repeated ivermectin bathing three times a week cured scabies and has no problematic side effects in the clinical trial, suggesting that this method is a safer treatment. Next, in Okinawa, phenothrin-resistant head lice infestation was prevalent, and no medical drug for this infestation is available in Japan yet. Hence, to address this situation, we conducted a clinical trial to investigate the efficacy and safety of a combination regimen of 5% topical phenothrin and the unapproved 0.5% topical ivermectin. Consequently, 92% and 100% effectiveness were obtained in Okinawa and Tsukuba, respectively. As a result, we were able to conduct research aimed to maximize the safety and effectiveness of ivermectin in Japan.
This review summarizes the results of the author's basic research on organic electrochemistry conducted at Gifu Pharmaceutical University over about 40 years. After completing graduate school, the author became a research associate in Prof. Tanekazu Kubota's laboratory and started research on molecular spectroscopy in 1983. After Prof. Kubota retired in 1989, the author continued investigations in the field of organic electrochemistry as an independent researcher. At that time, a research environment in which ab initio molecular orbital calculations can be used as an analytical tool for experimental research was developed, and the author commenced research on organic electrochemistry combined with quantum chemical calculations as a lifework. The author's research topics were basic research on the molecular theory of redox potentials of organic molecules, molecular design of functional molecules, intermolecular interactions of organic molecules involving electron transfers and electron transfer systems composed of bioactive quinones, and analytical application research based on the basic electrochemistry. In this review article, the essence of the research results is introduced while reflecting on the existing situation at the time of the research. The author concludes the review by expressing gratitude to all colleagues for supporting the research in the author's laboratory.
Protein-tyrosine phosphorylation is one of the posttranslational modifications and plays critical roles in regulating a wide variety of cellular processes, such as cell proliferation, differentiation, adhesion, migration, survival, and apoptosis. Protein-tyrosine phosphorylation is reversibly regulated by protein-tyrosine kinases and protein-tyrosine phosphatases. Strong inhibition of protein-tyrosine phosphatase activities is required to undoubtedly detect tyrosine phosphorylation. Our extremely careful usage of Na3VO4, a potent protein-tyrosine phosphatase inhibitor, has revealed not only the different intracellular trafficking pathways of Src-family tyrosine kinase members but also novel tyrosine phosphorylation signals in the nucleus and on mitotic spindle fibers and lysosomes. Furthermore, despite that the first identified oncogene product v-Src is generally believed to induce transformation through continuous stimulation of proliferation signaling by its strong tyrosine kinase activity, v-Src-driven transformation was found to be caused not by continuous proliferation signaling but by v-Src tyrosine kinase activity-dependent stochastic genome alterations. Here, I summarize our findings regarding novel tyrosine phosphorylation signaling in a spatiotemporal sense and highlight the significance of the roles of tyrosine phosphorylation in transcriptional regulation inside the nucleus and chromosome dynamics.
Although tulobuterol tape is provided to patients in an inner package, information regarding the stability of the tape after opening the packaging may be requested by patients. This study was performed to generate underlying data on the storage stability after package opening or liner peeling with package opening. Tulobuterol tapes were stored at 25℃, 60% relative humidity (RH); 40℃, 75%RH; or in a refrigerator (2-4℃, 10-30%RH) for 1 day or 3 days. In a peel adhesive strength test after package opening, storage at 25℃, 60%RH had a low effect on the adhesive strength of the tape. Storage after liner peeling with package opening resulted in variable adhesive strength of the tape. Regarding drug release properties, for storage after package opening, the f2 values of tapes stored in the three different conditions were over 50, except for tapes stored at 25℃, 60%RH for 3 days. For the tapes stored at 25℃, 60%RH or 40℃, 75%RH after liner peeling with package opening, the release rate and the ratio of drug released at 24 h may be decreased because the drug content decreased due to drug sublimation. This study suggested that tulobuterol tapes can be stored after package opening at 25℃, 60%RH for 1 d.
Memantine (Mem) is a non-competitive N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist used in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. However, side effects, including dizziness, headache and confusion, have been reported. Therefore, although it reduces the symptoms of dementia, such as memory loss, its use is limited by side effects for patients at risk of injury. In the present study, we investigated the effects of the Japanese Kampo medicine yokukansankachimpihange (YKSCH) on Mem-induced dizziness in a mouse model of memory impairment. Mem (20 mg/kg B.W., p.o.) reduced the performance score during the beam balance test and walking time on a rotarod, confirming the disrupted sense of balance and motor coordination. In contrast, YKSCH (750 mg/kg B.W., p.o.) significantly suppressed this disruption of balance and motor coordination in mice. Moreover, YKSCH did not attenuate the ameliorative effects of Mem on learning and memory impairment in the Y-maze test or step-through passive avoidance task. Spatial learning and memory significantly recovered in the Mem-treated group and Mem plus YKSCH-treated group, suggesting no pharmacological interaction between Mem and YKSCH in mice. Therefore, YKSCH may be effective at alleviating the Mem-induced equilibrium disturbance in mice with memory impairment without reducing its memory disorder improvement effects. Our study may be useful for future studies on the combined use of Mem and YKSCH in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.
The Japanese Pharmacopoeia (JP) is an official normative publication that is referred to, for establishing the authenticity and properties and maintaining the quality of pharmaceutics in Japan. Partial amendments are periodically made to these guidelines to keep up with the progress of science and technology, and the international harmonization is revised every 5 years. Thus, “Internationalization of the JP” is one of the more important issues to address for the revision of the JP. For example, the incorporation of the test methods that have been used in other pharmacopeias, such as the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) and the European Pharmacopoeia (EP), into the JP is a useful approach. In light of this, we have recently reported changes in test methods in the 17th JP, “Establishment of a quantitative test method for clonidine hydrochloride from using a potentiometric titration method to using HPLC”. As a part of our ongoing research to change test methods for internationalization, we selected lorazepam. Lorazepam is analyzed using a potentiometric titration method as listed in the 17th JP; however, both the USP and EP use HPLC for quantitative analysis of this drug. In this study, we synthesized the related impurities of lorazepam listed in the USP and the EP and determined their purities using quantitative NMR. The separation conditions of these compounds, including lorazepam, were examined using HPLC and simultaneous analyses were performed. In addition, lorazepam extracted from the tablets was analyzed using conditions similar to those used for the analysis of the related impurities.
To reduce the number of falls caused by hypnotic agents, the standardization of insomnia treatment was carried out at Yamaguchi University Hospital from April 2019. There were concerns that medical costs would increase due to the selected medicines―suvorexant and eszopiclone―being more expensive than conventional benzodiazepines. In this study, the standardization of insomnia treatment was evaluated by pharmacoeconomics. The costs of the hypnotic agents was considered, as was the cost of examination/treatment following falls. Effectiveness was evaluated as the incidence of falls within 24 hours of taking hypnotic agents. This analysis took the public healthcare payer's perspective. Propensity score matching based on patient background, showed that, per hospitalization the medicine costs of the recommended group increased by 1,020 yen, however, the examination/treatment costs following falls decreased by 487 yen when compared with the non-recommended group. Overall, the recommended group incurred costs of 533 yen more per hospitalization for patients prescribed hypnotic agents compared to the non-recommended group, but the incidence of falls for the recommended group was significantly lower than that in the non-recommended group (1.9% vs. 6.3%; p<0.01). These results suggest that in order to prevent the incidence of falls by 1 case, it is necessary to increase costs by 12,086 yen which is the subthreshold cost for switching to the recommended medicine as standardization. The selection of recommended medicines may be a cost-effectiveness option compared with non-recommended medicines.
Drug-drug interactions (DDIs) are responsible for an increase in the incidence of adverse drug reactions. Although CYP is known to be involved in metabolic processes, the DDIs among three or more drugs that involve the same CYP molecular species have not been fully investigated. In this study, we retrospectively examined the relationship between the number of drugs and potential DDIs in metabolic processes involving CYPs in patients who picked up their prescribed drugs at 11 pharmacies in the Kojima Branch of the Okayama Pharmaceutical Association. We found that 66.5% of the 924 patients had potential DDIs; more than half of the patients who took six or more drugs had potential DDIs among three or more drugs. The mean number of CYP3A4-related drugs involved in potential DDIs was 3.52±1.56 in patients who took seven drugs, suggesting the need for careful monitoring of specific symptoms and blood test results for the early detection of adverse drug reactions caused by DDIs among three or more drugs.
The authors retrospectively investigated the potential DDIs among three or more drugs that involve the same CYP molecular species in metabolic process in outpatients’ setting. This study found out that the more than half of the patients who took six or more drugs had potential DDIs among three or more drugs, and CYP3A4-related drugs are especially important. These findings would be useful for avoidance or early detection of adverse drug reactions caused by DDIs among three or more drugs.