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  1. Lim CM, Aryani Md Yusof F, Selvarajah S, Lim TO
    Eur J Clin Pharmacol, 2011 Oct;67(10):1035-44.
    PMID: 21499761 DOI: 10.1007/s00228-011-1025-4
    PURPOSE: We aimed to demonstrate the suitability of the Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification (ATC) to describe duplicate drugs and duplicate drug classes in prescription data and describe the pattern of duplicates from public and private primary care clinics of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

    METHODS: We analyzed prescription data year 2005 from all 14 public clinics in Kuala Lumpur with 12,157 prescriptions, and a sample of 188 private clinics with 25,612 prescriptions. As ATC Level 5 code represents the molecule and Level 4 represents the pharmacological subgroup, we used repetitions of codes in the same prescription to describe duplicate drugs or duplicate drug classes and compared them between the public and private clinics.

    RESULTS: At Level 4 ATC, prescriptions with duplicates drug classes were 1.46% of all prescriptions in private and 0.04% in public clinics. At Level 5 ATC, prescriptions with duplicate drugs were 1.81% for private and 0.95% for public clinics. In private clinics at Level 5, 73.3% of prescriptions with duplicates involved systemic combination drugs; at Level 4, 40.3% involved systemic combination drugs. In the public sector at Level 5, 95.7% of prescriptions with duplicates involved topical products.

    CONCLUSIONS: Repetitions of the same ATC codes were mostly useful to describe duplicate medications; however, we recommend avoid using ATC codes for tropical products for this purpose due to ambiguity. Combination products were often involved in duplicate prescribing; redesign of these products might improve prescribing quality. Duplicates occurred more often in private clinics than public clinics in Malaysia.
  2. Rashed AN, Wong IC, Cranswick N, Tomlin S, Rascher W, Neubert A
    Eur J Clin Pharmacol, 2012 May;68(5):801-10.
    PMID: 22166934 DOI: 10.1007/s00228-011-1183-4
    BACKGROUND: Understanding the epidemiology and risk factors of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) is important in order to develop appropriate prevention strategies. This study aimed to identify risk factors associated with ADRs in hospitalised children and recommend strategies to minimise ADRs.

    METHODS: A prospective multicentre cohort study was conducted on paediatric general medical wards in five European and non-European hospitals. ADRs were identified by intensive chart review. Multivariable logistic regression was used to investigate risk factors associated with ADRs. For the risk factor analysis, prescribed drugs were divided into high-risk and low-risk drug groups. Analgesics, anti-epileptics, antibacterials and antimycotics for systemic use, corticosteroids for systemic use and immunosuppressant agents were considered as high-risk groups whereas the remaining drug classes were defined as low-risk drug groups.

    RESULTS: A total of 1,253 paediatric patients were identified [Australia (n = 145), Germany (n = 372), Hong Kong (n = 138), Malaysia (n = 291), UK (n = 307)]. A total of 328 ADRs were observed in 16.7% of patients (186/1,115). Use of five or more low-risk drugs per patient or three or more high-risk drugs was a strong predictor for ADRs (OR 4.7, 95% CI 2.4-9.3; OR 6.5, 95% CI 2.7-16.0 respectively; p < 0.001). Older children were more likely to experience ADRs; gender was not significantly associated.

    CONCLUSION: To reduce the risk of ADRs in children, clinicians and pharmacists should aim to minimise polypharmacy and be aware of higher ADR risks associated with some drug groups.

  3. Navaratnam V, Ramanathan S, Wahab MS, Siew Hua G, Mansor SM, Kiechel JR, et al.
    Eur J Clin Pharmacol, 2009 Aug;65(8):809-21.
    PMID: 19404632 DOI: 10.1007/s00228-009-0656-1
    There is limited pharmacokinetic data available for the combination artesunate + amodiaquine, which is used widely to treat uncomplicated malaria. This study examines the bioavailability and tolerability of a fixed (200 mg artesunate + 540 mg amodiaquine) and loose (200 mg + 612 mg) combination with a 2x2 cross-over design in 24 healthy volunteers.
  4. Liu R, Tang AM, Tan YL, Limenta LM, Lee EJ
    Eur J Clin Pharmacol, 2009 Jan;65(1):65-70.
    PMID: 18766334 DOI: 10.1007/s00228-008-0488-4
    OBJECTIVES: The aims of this study were to characterize the population frequency of PEPT2 (SLC15A2) polymorphic variants in three Asian ethnic populations, namely Chinese, Malay and Asian Indian, and to investigate the associations of ethnicity (Chinese vs. Asian Indian), PEPT2 haplotype and cephalexin pharmacokinetics in healthy Asian subjects.

    METHODS: PEPT2 polymorphisms were screened from a cohort of 96 Chinese, 96 Malay and 96 Asian Indian subjects. Cephalexin (1000 mg, orally) pharmacokinetics was characterized in an additional 15 Chinese and 15 Asian Indian healthy subjects. These 30 subjects were subsequently genotyped for their PEPT2 polymorphisms.

    RESULTS: In total, ten common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were detected in the three populations, forming two PEPT2 haplotypes. There were significant ethnic differences in PEPT2 haplotype distribution: the frequencies of the *1 and *2 alleles were 0.307 and 0.693 in the Chinese population, 0.495 and 0.505 in the Malay population and 0.729 and 0.271 in Asian Indian population, respectively. The C (max) of cephalexin was significantly lower in the Chinese (29.80 +/- 4.09 microg ml(-1)) population than in the Asian Indian one (33.29 +/- 4.97 microg ml(-1); P = 0.045). This difference could be explained by the higher average body weight of the Chinese population. There was no other significant difference in cephalexin pharmacokinetics between either ethnic or PEPT2 genotype groups.

    CONCLUSION: PEPT2 polymorphism distributions differ significantly between Chinese, Malay and Asian Indian populations. However, cephalexin pharmacokinetics is not meaningfully different between Chinese and Asian Indians. The association between the PEPT2 haplotype and cephalexin pharmacokinetics could not be confirmed, and future studies under better controlled conditions are needed.

  5. Rahman S, Ismail AA, Ismail SB, Naing NN, Abdul Rahman AR
    Eur J Clin Pharmacol, 2007 Aug;63(8):733-41.
    PMID: 17565489 DOI: 10.1007/s00228-007-0315-3
    OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether pharmacological interventions with rosiglitazone/ramipril can reverse preclinical vasculopathy in newly diagnosed untreated patients with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) and impaired glucose tolerance (IGT).

    METHODS: In this randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 33 T2DM and 33 IGT patients were randomised to 4 mg rosiglitazone or 5 mg ramipril or placebo for 1 year. The subjects were newly diagnosed, untreated, normotensive, nonobese, nonsmoker, and nonhyperlipidaemic. Haemodynamic variables were measured at three treatment phases and pulse wave velocity (PWV) and augmentation index (AI) were measured throughout the treatment period.

    RESULTS: Rosiglitazone showed a significant reduction in PWV (p=0.039) and AI (p=0.031) and ramipril demonstrated a significant reduction of AI (p=0.025) in IGT in comparison to placebo on the 12th month of treatment. No significant difference was observed in PWV and AI in T2DM with rosiglitazone/ramipril in comparison to placebo during overall treatment period.

    CONCLUSIONS: Rosiglitazone significantly reversed preclinical vasculopathy in IGT as evident by significant decrease in PWV and AI after 1 year of treatment. Ramipril also reduced large artery stiffness as shown by significant decrease of AI after 1 year of treatment in IGT. Further trials are needed for a longer period of time, maybe with higher doses, to show whether rosiglitazone/ramipril can reverse preclinical vasculopathy in T2DM.
  6. Jada SR, Xiaochen S, Yan LY, Xiaoqiang X, Lal S, Zhou SF, et al.
    Eur J Clin Pharmacol, 2007 Jun;63(6):555-63.
    PMID: 17415554
    OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to characterize the population frequency of SLCO1B1 polymorphic variants in three distinct healthy Asian populations, namely Chinese (n = 100), Malay (n = 100) and Indian (n = 100), and to explore the association between haplotype-tagged single nucleotide polymorphisms (htSNPs) on hepatic SLCO1B1 mRNA expression.

    METHODS: The distribution of polymorphic variants in the SLCO1B1 gene at eight loci that spanned approximately 48 kb was investigated in the three different Asian ethnic groups and in 32 non-cancerous liver tissues from Chinese patients.

    RESULTS: Of the 26 polymorphisms screened, we found eight polymorphic variants that differed in genotypic and allelic frequencies between the Chinese, Malay and Indian populations. Significant interethnic differences were observed in the genotype frequency distributions across the promoter SNP [g.-11187G>A (P = 0.030)] as well as three coding region SNPs [c.388G>A (P < 0.001); c.571T>C (P < 0.001); c.597C>T (P < 0.001)] in the healthy subjects. Haplotype analysis revealed 12 different haplotypes in both the Chinese and Malay populations and 18 haplotypes in the Indian population. In both the Malay and Indian populations, the htSNPs were c.388A>G, c.571T>C and c.597C>T, whereas in the Chinese population they were g.-11187G>A, c.388A>G and c.597C>T. The c.388A>G and c.597C>T htSNPs accounted for more than 70% of the variations between the three major haplotypes in each Asian ethnic group. In terms of the c.388A>G htSNPs, genotypic-phenotypic association analyses revealed that there was no effect on SLCO1B1 expression in hepatic tissues; in addition, no genotypic-phenotypic associations were evident with regards to the c.597C>T htSNP.

    CONCLUSION: Future studies should investigate the phenotypic effects of the c.388A>G htSNP on the disposition of OATP1B1 substrates in Asian populations.

  7. Mustafa S, Yusuf WN, Woillard JB, Choon TS, Hassan NB
    Eur J Clin Pharmacol, 2016 Jul;72(7):831-8.
    PMID: 27025609 DOI: 10.1007/s00228-016-2049-6
    AIMS: Nevirapine is the first non-nucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitor approved and is widely used in combination therapy to treat HIV-1 infection. The pharmacokinetics of nevirapine was extensively studied in various populations with a parametric approach. Hence, this study was aimed to determine population pharmacokinetic parameters in Malaysian HIV-infected patients with a non-parametric approach which allows detection of outliers or non-normal distribution contrary to the parametric approach.

    METHODS: Nevirapine population pharmacokinetics was modelled with Pmetrics. A total of 708 observations from 112 patients were included in the model building and validation analysis. Evaluation of the model was based on a visual inspection of observed versus predicted (population and individual) concentrations and plots weighted residual error versus concentrations. Accuracy and robustness of the model were evaluated by visual predictive check (VPC). The median parameters' estimates obtained from the final model were used to predict individual nevirapine plasma area-under-curve (AUC) in the validation dataset. The Bland-Altman plot was used to compare the AUC predicted with trapezoidal AUC.

    RESULTS: The median nevirapine clearance was of 2.92 L/h, the median rate of absorption was 2.55/h and the volume of distribution was 78.23 L. Nevirapine pharmacokinetics were best described by one-compartmental with first-order absorption model and a lag-time. Weighted residuals for the model selected were homogenously distributed over the concentration and time range. The developed model adequately estimated AUC.

    CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, a model to describe the pharmacokinetics of nevirapine was developed. The developed model adequately describes nevirapine population pharmacokinetics in HIV-infected patients in Malaysia.

  8. Goktaş MT, Hatta F, Karaca O, Kalkisim S, Kilic L, Akdogan A, et al.
    Eur J Clin Pharmacol, 2015 Oct;71(10):1223-8.
    PMID: 26233334 DOI: 10.1007/s00228-015-1899-7
    BACKGROUND: We previously reported on a Swedish patient with Behçet's disease (BD) who was an ultra-rapid metaboliser of drugs catalysed by CYP2C9. Was this extreme metabolism caused by the disease?

    AIM: This study aims to compare the genotype/phenotype of CYP2C9 in patients with BD and healthy subjects. As the occurrence of BD is high in Turkey, all subjects were recruited from this country.

    METHODS: Genotyping of CYP2C9 was performed using standard PCR-RFLP and allele-specific PCR methods. Phenotyping of CYP2C9 was performed by administration of a 50-mg single oral dose of losartan and by calculating the urinary metabolic ratio (MR) of probe drug to its metabolite E-3174. Quantitation was performed by HPLC.

    RESULTS: The frequency of CYP2C9*2 and *3 was not significantly different between the Behçet's disease patients (12.5 and 8.7%) and the healthy subjects (8.9 and 8.2%). The geometric mean losartan MR was higher in the 52 patients (1.75) than in the 96 healthy subjects (1.02) (p = 0.002; t-test). Within the genotypes *1/*1, there was a significant difference of MR between patients and healthy subjects (P = 0.006). All but three of the Behçet's disease patients were treated with colchicine. In nine subsequent patients, we found no significant effect of 2 weeks of treatment with colchicine on the CYP2C9 MR.

    CONCLUSION: Contrary to expectation, the CYP2C9 activity was lower in Turkish BD patients compared to healthy subjects. As this seems not to be due to colchicine treatment, our hypothesis is that inflammation related to BD might have caused the down-regulation of the CYP2C9 activity due to immune cytokine reactions. The ultra-rapid metabolism of CYP2C9 substrate drugs in the Swedish patient was not due to her BD.
  9. Navaratnam V, Mansor SM, Mordi MN, Akbar A, Abdullah MN
    Eur J Clin Pharmacol, 1998 Jul;54(5):411-4.
    PMID: 9754985
    OBJECTIVE: A single cross-over, comparative pharmacokinetic study of oral and rectal formulations of 200 mg artesunic acid in 12 healthy Malaysian volunteers is reported.

    METHODS: Plasma concentrations of artesunic acid and dihydroartemisinin were determined simultaneously by HPLC with electrochemical detection. The test drug was well tolerated and no undesirable adverse effects were observed.

    RESULTS: Comparison of pharmacokinetic parameters of artesunic acid after oral and rectal administration showed statistically significant differences in t(max) and AUC, with no changes for Cmax and t1/2. As for dihydroartemisinin, differences were observed for t(max) and Cmax but not for AUC.

    CONCLUSION: There appear to be pharmacokinetic differences between oral and rectal modes of administration. The significance of these findings should be explored in malaria patients before appropriate therapeutic regimens are devised.

  10. Venkatason P, Zaharan NL, Ismail MD, Wan Ahmad WA, Mahmood Zuhdi AS
    Eur J Clin Pharmacol, 2018 Jul;74(7):953-960.
    PMID: 29582106 DOI: 10.1007/s00228-018-2451-3
    PURPOSE: Information is lacking on prescribing of preventative cardiovascular pharmacotherapies for patients with non-ST elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) in the Asian region. This study examined the prescribing rate of these pharmacotherapies, comparing NSTEMI to STEMI, and variations across demographics and clinical factors within the NSTEMI group in the multi-ethnic Malaysian population.

    METHODS: This is a retrospective analysis of the Malaysian National Cardiovascular Disease Database-Acute Coronary Syndrome registry from year 2006 to 2013 (n = 30,873). On-discharge pharmacotherapies examined were aspirin, ADP-antagonists, statins, ACE-inhibitors, angiotensin-II-receptor blockers, and beta-blockers. Multivariate logistic regression was used to calculate adjusted odds ratio of receiving individual pharmacotherapies according to patients' characteristics in NSTEMI patients (n = 11,390).

    RESULTS: Prescribing rates for cardiovascular pharmacotherapies had significantly increased especially for ADP-antagonists (76%) in NSTEMI patients. More than 85% were prescribed statins and antiplatelets but rates remained significantly lower compared to STEMI. Women and those over 65 years old were less likely to be prescribed these pharmacotherapies compared to men and younger NSTEMI patients. Chinese and Indians were more likely to receive selected pharmacotherapies compared to Malays (main ethnicity). Geographical variations were observed; East Malaysian (Malaysian Borneo) patients were less likely to receive these compared to Western region of Malaysian Peninsular. Underprescribing in patients with risk factors such as diabetes were observed with other co-morbidities influencing prescribing selectively.

    CONCLUSION: This study uncovers demographic and clinical variations in cardiovascular pharmacotherapies prescribing for NSTEMI. Concerted efforts by policy makers, specialty societies, and physicians are required focusing on elderly, women, Malays, East Malaysians, and high-risk patients.

  11. Samsiah A, Othman N, Jamshed S, Hassali MA, Wan-Mohaina WM
    Eur J Clin Pharmacol, 2016 Dec;72(12):1515-1524.
    PMID: 27637912
    PURPOSE: Reporting and analysing the data on medication errors (MEs) is important and contributes to a better understanding of the error-prone environment. This study aims to examine the characteristics of errors submitted to the National Medication Error Reporting System (MERS) in Malaysia.

    METHODS: A retrospective review of reports received from 1 January 2009 to 31 December 2012 was undertaken. Descriptive statistics method was applied.

    RESULTS: A total of 17,357 MEs reported were reviewed. The majority of errors were from public-funded hospitals. Near misses were classified in 86.3 % of the errors. The majority of errors (98.1 %) had no harmful effects on the patients. Prescribing contributed to more than three-quarters of the overall errors (76.1 %). Pharmacists detected and reported the majority of errors (92.1 %). Cases of erroneous dosage or strength of medicine (30.75 %) were the leading type of error, whilst cardiovascular (25.4 %) was the most common category of drug found.

    CONCLUSIONS: MERS provides rich information on the characteristics of reported MEs. Low contribution to reporting from healthcare facilities other than government hospitals and non-pharmacists requires further investigation. Thus, a feasible approach to promote MERS among healthcare providers in both public and private sectors needs to be formulated and strengthened. Preventive measures to minimise MEs should be directed to improve prescribing competency among the fallible prescribers identified.

  12. Veiga MI, Asimus S, Ferreira PE, Martins JP, Cavaco I, Ribeiro V, et al.
    Eur J Clin Pharmacol, 2009 Apr;65(4):355-63.
    PMID: 18979093 DOI: 10.1007/s00228-008-0573-8
    AIM: The aim of this study was to obtain pharmacogenetic data in a Vietnamese population on genes coding for proteins involved in the elimination of drugs currently used for the treatment of malaria and human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.

    METHOD: The main polymorphisms on the cytochrome P450 (CYP) genes, CYP2A6, CYP2B6, CYP2C19, CYP2D6, CYP3A4 and CYP3A5, and the multi-drug resistance 1 gene (MDR1) were genotyped in 78 healthy Vietnamese subjects. Pharmacokinetic metrics were available for CYP2A6 (coumarin), CYP2C19 (mephenytoin), CYP2D6 (metoprolol) and CYP3As (midazolam), allowing correlations with the determined genotype.

    RESULTS: In the CYP2 family, we detected alleles CYP2A6*4 (12%) and *5 (15%); CYP2B6*4 (8%), *6 (27%); CYP2C19*2 (31%) and *3 (6%); CYP2D6*4, *5, *10 (1, 8 and 44%, respectively). In the CYP3A family, CYP3A4*1B was detected at a low frequency (2%), whereas CYP3A5 *3 was detected at a frequency of 67%. The MDR1 3435T allele was present with a prevalence of 40%. Allele proportions in our cohort were compared with those reported for other Asian populations. CYP2C19 genotypes were associated to the S-4'-OH-mephenytoin/S-mephenytoin ratio quantified in plasma 4 h after intake of 100 mg mephenytoin. While CYP2D6 genotypes were partially reflected by the alpha-OH-metroprolol/metoprolol ratio in plasma 4 h after dosing, no correlation existed between midazolam plasma concentrations 4 h post-dose and CYP3A genotypes.

    CONCLUSIONS: The Vietnamese subjects of our study cohort presented allele prevalences in drug-metabolising enzymes that were generally comparable with those reported in other Asian populations. Deviations were found for CYP2A6*4 compared to a Chinese population (12 vs. 5%, respectively; P = 0.023), CYP2A6*5 compared with a Korean population (15 vs. <1%, respectively; P < 0.0001), a Malaysian population (1%; P < 0.0001) and a Chinese population (1%; P < 0.0001); CYP2B6*6 compared with a Korean population (27 vs. 12%; P = 0.002) and a Japanese population (16%; P = 0.021). Pharmacokinetic metrics versus genotype analysis reinforces the view that the predictive value of certain globally common variants (e.g. CYP2D6 single nucleotide polymorphisms) should be evaluated in a population-specific manner.

  13. Mandal T, Bairy LK, Sharma PSVN
    Eur J Clin Pharmacol, 2020 Jun;76(6):807-814.
    PMID: 32253447 DOI: 10.1007/s00228-020-02866-4
    PURPOSE: Ethnicity plays a key role in deciding the direction of the association between serotonin transporter gene polymorphisms and treatment response of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). The present study explored the association of 5HTTLPR and 5HTTLPR-rs25531 polymorphisms with the treatment response of escitalopram in South Indian patients with major depressive disorder.

    METHODS: A total of 148 depressive patients receiving escitalopram 10-20 mg/day were genotyped for 5HTTLPR and rs25531 polymorphisms. Clinical assessment was done at baseline and after 4, 8, and 12 weeks using the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS-17), Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS), and Clinical Global Impression Scale (CGI). At the end of week 12, patients were defined as responders and non-responders based on HDRS17 and MADRS scores. Chi-square test and logistic regression analysis were performed to investigate the genotypic influence on treatment response. Comparison of continuous variables among different groups was done using Student's t test or one-way ANOVA.

    RESULTS: Out of 148 study subjects, 65 (43.9%) were responders and 83 (56.08%) were non-responders. We observed a significant (p value

  14. Kow CS, Hasan SS
    Eur J Clin Pharmacol, 2021 Feb 02.
    PMID: 33532896 DOI: 10.1007/s00228-021-03087-z
    OBJECTIVE: We aimed to perform a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to summarize the overall effect of tocilizumab on the risk of mortality among patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

    METHODS: We systematically searched PubMed, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Google Scholar, and medRxiv (preprint repository) databases (up to 7 January 2021). Pooled effect sizes with 95% confidence interval (CI) were generated using random-effects and inverse variance heterogeneity models. The risk of bias of the included RCTs was appraised using version 2 of the Cochrane risk-of-bias tool for randomized trials.

    RESULTS: Six RCTs were included: two trials with an overall low risk of bias and four trials had some concerns regarding the overall risk of bias. Our meta-analysis did not find significant mortality benefits with the use of tocilizumab among patients with COVID-19 relative to non-use of tocilizumab (pooled hazard ratio = 0.83; 95% CI 0.66-1.05, n = 2,057). Interestingly, the estimated effect of tocilizumab on the composite endpoint of requirement for mechanical ventilation and/or all-cause mortality indicated clinical benefits, with some evidence against our model hypothesis of no significant effect at the current sample size (pooled hazard ratio = 0.62; 95% CI 0.42-0.91, n = 749).

    CONCLUSION: Despite no clear mortality benefits in hospitalized patients with COVID-19, tocilizumab appears to reduce the likelihood of progression to mechanical ventilation.

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