The Fritillaria imperialis is an ornamental flower that can be found in various parts of the world including Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Himalayas. The use of this plant as traditional remedy is widely known. This study aims to unveil the anti-cancer potentials of Isopimara-7,15-Dien-19-Oic Acid, extracted from the bulbs of F. imperialis in cervical cancer cell line, HeLa cells. Flow cytometry analysis of cell death, gene expression analysis via cDNA microarray and protein array were performed. Based on the results, Isopimara-7,15-Dien-19-Oic acid simultaneously induced cell death and promoted cell survival. The execution of apoptosis was apparent based on the flow cytometry results and regulation of both pro and anti-apoptotic genes. Additionally, the regulation of anti-oxidant genes were up-regulated especially thioredoxin, glutathione and superoxide dismutase- related genes. Moreover, the treatment also induced the activation of pro-survival heat shock proteins. Collectively, Isopimara-7,15-Dien-19-Oic Acid managed to induce cellular stress in HeLa cells and activate several anti- and pro survival pathways.
Alpha (α)-asarone is one of the main psychoactive compounds, present in Acorus species. Evidence suggests that the α-asarone possess an antidepressant-like activity in mice. However, the exact dose-dependent effect of α-asarone and mechanism(s) involved in the antidepressant-like activity are not clear. The present study aimed to investigate the dose-dependent effect of α-asarone and the underlining mechanism(s) involved in the antidepressant-like activity of α-asarone in the mouse model of tail suspension test (TST). In this study, the acute effect of α-asarone per se at different doses (10-100 mg/kg, i.p.) on immobility in the TST was studied. Additionally, the possible mechanism(s) involved in the antidepressant-like effect of α-asarone was studied using its interaction with noradrenergic and serotonergic neuromodulators in the TST. The present results reveal that the acute treatment of α-asarone elicited biphasic responses on immobility such that the duration of the immobility time is significantly reduced at lower doses (15 and 20 mg/kg, i.p.) but increased at higher doses (50 and 100 mg/kg, i.p.) in the TST. Besides, α-asarone at higher doses (50 and 100 mg/kg, i.p.) significantly decreased the spontaneous locomotor activity. Moreover, pretreatment of mice with noradrenergic neuromodulators such as AMPT (100 mg/kg, i.p., a catecholamine synthesis inhibitor), prazosin (1 mg/kg, i.p., an α1-adrenoceptor antagonist), yohimbine (1 mg/kg, i.p., an α2-adrenoceptor antagonist) and with serotonergic neuromodulators such as PCPA (100 mg/kg, i.p., once daily for four consecutive days, a serotonin synthesis inhibitor,) and WAY100635 (0.1 mg/kg, s.c., a selective 5-HT1A receptor antagonist) significantly reversed the anti-immobility effect of α-asarone (20 mg/kg, i.p.). Taken together, our results suggest that the acute treatment with α-asarone elicited biphasic actions in the TST in which antidepressant-like effect was seen at relatively lower doses (15 and 20 mg/kg, i.p.) and depressive-like activity at relatively higher doses (50 and 100 mg/kg, i.p.). Furthermore, it has been revealed that the antidepressant-like effect of α-asarone could be mediated through both noradrenergic (α1 and α2 adrenoceptors) and serotonergic (particularly, 5-HT1A receptors) systems.
Tinospora crispa (L.) Hook. f. & Thomson (Menispermaceae), found in the rainforests or mixed deciduous forests in Asia and Africa, is used in traditional medicines to treat numerous health conditions. This review summarizes the up-to-date reports about the ethnobotany, phytochemistry, pharmacological activities, toxicology, and clinical trials of the plant. It also provides critical assessment about the present knowledge of the plant which could contribute toward improving its prospect as a source of lead molecules for drug discovery. The plant has been used traditionally in the treatment of jaundice, rheumatism, urinary disorders, fever, malaria, diabetes, internal inflammation, fracture, scabies, hypertension, reducing thirst, increasing appetite, cooling down the body temperature, and maintaining good health. Phytochemical analyses of T. crispa revealed the presence of alkaloids, flavonoids, and flavone glycosides, triterpenes, diterpenes and diterpene glycosides, cis clerodane-type furanoditerpenoids, lactones, sterols, lignans, and nucleosides. Studies showed that the crude extracts and isolated compounds of T. crispa possessed a broad range of pharmacological activities such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, immunomodulatory, cytotoxic, antimalarial, cardioprotective, and anti-diabetic activities. Most pharmacological studies were based on crude extracts of the plant and the bioactive compounds responsible for the bioactivities have not been well identified. Further investigations are required to transform the experience-based claims on the use of T. crispa in traditional medicine practices into evidence-based information. The plant extract used in pharmacological and biological studies should be qualitatively and quantitatively analyzed based on its biomarkers. There should be detail in vitro and in vivo studies on the mechanisms of action of the pure bioactive compounds and more elaborate toxicity study to ensure safety of the plant for human use. More clinical trials are encouraged to be carried out if there are sufficient preclinical and safety data.
Gynura procumbens (Lour.) Merr. (Family Asteraceae) is a medicinal plant commonly found in tropical Asia countries such as China, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam. Traditionally, it is widely used in many different countries for the treatment of a wide variety of health ailments such as kidney discomfort, rheumatism, diabetes mellitus, constipation, and hypertension. Based on the traditional uses of G. procumbens, it seems to possess high therapeutic potential for treatment of various diseases making it a target for pharmacological studies aiming to validate and provide scientific evidence for the traditional claims of its efficacy. Although there has been considerable progress in the research on G. procumbens, to date there is no review paper gathering the reported biological activities of G. procumbens. Hence, this review aims to provide an overview of the biological activities of G. procumbens based on reported in vitro and in vivo studies. In brief, G. procumbens has been reported to exhibit antihypertensive, cardioprotective, antihyperglycemic, fertility enhancement, anticancer, antimicrobial, antioxidant, organ protective, and antiinflammatory activity. The commercial applications of G. procumbens have also been summarized in this paper based on existing patents. The data compiled illustrate that G. procumbens is a potential natural source of compounds with various pharmacological actions which can be utilized for the development of novel therapeutic agents.
Whole-exome sequencing (WES) has been widely used for analysis of human genetic diseases, but its value for the pharmacogenomic profiling of individuals is not well studied. Initially, we performed an in-depth evaluation of the accuracy of WES variant calling in the pharmacogenes CYP2D6 and CYP2C19 by comparison with MiSeq(®) amplicon sequencing data (n = 36). This analysis revealed that the concordance rate between WES and MiSeq(®) was high, achieving 99.60% for variants that were called without exceeding the truth-sensitivity threshold (99%), defined during variant quality score recalibration (VQSR). Beyond this threshold, the proportion of discordant calls increased markedly. Subsequently, we expanded our findings beyond CYP2D6 and CYP2C19 to include more genes genotyped by the iPLEX(®) ADME PGx Panel in the subset of twelve samples. WES performed well, agreeing with the genotyping panel in approximately 99% of the selected pass-filter variant calls. Overall, our results have demonstrated WES to be a promising approach for pharmacogenomic profiling, with an estimated error rate of lower than 1%. Quality filters, particularly VQSR, are important for reducing the number of false variants. Future studies may benefit from examining the role of WES in the clinical setting for guiding drug therapy.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the cytotoxic potential of a novel nickel(II) complex (NTC) against WiDr and HT-29 human colon cancer cells by determining the IC50 using the standard MTT assay. The NTC displayed a strong suppressive effect on colon cancer cells with an IC50 value of 6.07 ± 0.22 μM and 6.26 ± 0.13 μM against WiDr and HT-29 respectively, after 24 h of treatment. Substantial reduction in the mitochondrial membrane potential and increase in the release of cytochrome c from the mitochondria directed the induction of the intrinsic apoptosis pathway by the NTC. Activation of this pathway was further evidenced by significant activation of caspase 3/7 and 9. The NTC was also shown to activate the extrinsic pathway of apoptosis via activation of caspase-8 which is linked to the suppression of NF-κB translocation to the nucleus. Cell cycle arrest in the G1 phase was confirmed by flow cytometry and up-regulation of glutathione reductase expression was quantified by qPCR. Results of the current work indicates that NTC possess a potent cancer cell abolishing activity by simultaneous induction of intrinsic and extrinsic pathways of apoptosis in colon cancer cell lines.
Clinacanthus nutans has had a long history of use in folk medicine in Malaysia and Southeast Asia; mostly in the relief of inflammatory conditions. In this study, we investigated the effects of different extracts of C. nutans upon lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced inflammation in order to identify its mechanism of action. Extracts of leaves and stem bark of C. nutans were prepared using polar and non-polar solvents to produce four extracts, namely polar leaf extract (LP), non-polar leaf extract (LN), polar stem extract (SP), and non-polar stem extracts (SN). The extracts were standardized by determining its total phenolic and total flavonoid contents. Its anti-inflammatory effects were assessed on LPS induced nitrite release in RAW264.7 macrophages and Toll-like receptor (TLR-4) activation in TLR-4 transfected human embryonic kidney cells (HEK-Blue(TM)-hTLR4 cells). The levels of inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IFN-γ, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-12p40, and IL-17) in treated RAW264.7 macrophages were quantified to verify its anti-inflammatory effects. Western blotting was used to investigate the effect of the most potent extract (LP) on TLR-4 related inflammatory proteins (p65, p38, ERK, JNK, IRF3) in RAW264.7 macrophages. All four extracts produced a significant, concentration-dependent reduction in LPS-stimulated nitric oxide, LPS-induced TLR-4 activation in HEK-Blue(TM)-hTLR4 cells and LPS-stimulated cytokines production in RAW264.7 macrophages. The most potent extract, LP, also inhibited all LPS-induced TLR-4 inflammatory proteins. These results provide a basis for understanding the mechanisms underlying the previously demonstrated anti-inflammatory activity of C. nutans extracts.
Eurycoma longifolia is a Malaysian native herb that has been widely used as an aphrodisiac and a remedy for andropause. Although the physiological effects of the plant extract were predicted as a result of the alterations in protein expression, the key protein(s) involved in these alterations are still unclear. In the present study, we have investigated the effect of standardized E. longifolia extract on serum protein expression up to 28 days following oral administration in rats. Serum protein profiles were analyzed by 2-dimensional electrophoresis, and altered proteins were identified via mass spectrometry. We observed that alpha-2-HS glycoprotein (AHS) was significantly decreased in the serum of experimentally treated rats compared to pre-treated animals. Moreover, reduction in AHS was confirmed using competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. AHS expression is known to be associated with insulin resistance and diabetes. Our data indicated that serum AHS was reduced in rats treated with standardized E. longifolia extract, and therefore form a prelude for further investigation into the effects of this natural extract in animal models involving infertility and diabetes.
Labisia pumila (Kacip Fatimah) is a popular herb in Malaysia that has been traditionally used in a number of women's health applications such as to improve libido, relieve postmenopausal symptoms, and to facilitate or hasten delivery in childbirth. In addition, the constituents of this plant have been reported to possess anticancer, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. Clinical studies have indicated that cytochrome P450s (CYPs), P-glycoprotein (P-gp), and Pregnane X receptor (PXR) are the three main modulators of drug-drug interactions which alter the absorption, distribution, and metabolism of drugs. Given the widespread use of Kacip Fatimah in dietary supplements, the current study focuses on determining the potential of its constituents to affect the activities of CYPs, P-gp, or PXR using in vitro assays which may provide useful information toward the risk of herb-drug interaction with concomitantly used drugs. Six compounds isolated from the roots of L. pumila (2 saponins and 4 alkyl phenols) were tested, in addition to the methanolic extract. The extract of L. pumila showed a significant time dependent inhibition (TDI) of CYP3A4, reversible inhibition of CYP2C9 and 2C19 and a weak inhibition of 1A2 and 2D6 as well as an inhibition of P-gp and rifampicin-induced PXR activation. The alkyl phenols inhibited CYP3A4 (TDI), CYP2C9, and 2C19 (reversible) while saponins inhibited P-gp and PXR. In conclusion, L. pumila and its constituents showed significant modulation of all three regulatory proteins (CYPs, P-gp, and PXR) suggesting a potential to alter the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of conventional drugs if used concomitantly.
Resistance to 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) is a major obstacle to the successful treatment of colorectal cancer (CRC) and posed an increased risk of recurrence. DNA methylation has been suggested as one of the underlying mechanisms for recurrent disease and its contribution to the development of drug resistance remains to be clarified. This study aimed to determine the methylation phenotype in CRC for identification of predictive markers for chemotherapy response. We performed DNA methylation profiling on 43 non-recurrent and five recurrent CRC patients using the Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation450 Beadchip assay. In addition, CRC cells with different genetic backgrounds, response to 5-FU and global methylation levels (HT29 and SW48) were treated with 5-FU and DNA methylation inhibitor 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-azadC). The singular and combined effects of these two drug classes on cell viability and global methylation profiles were investigated. Our genome-wide methylation study on the clinical specimens showed that recurrent CRCs exhibited higher methylation levels compared to non-recurrent CRCs. We identified 4787 significantly differentially methylated genes (P < 0.05); 3112 genes were hyper- while 1675 genes were hypomethylated in the recurrent group compared to the non-recurrent. Fifty eight and 47 of the significantly hypermethylated and hypomethylated genes have an absolute recurrent/non-recurrent methylation difference of ≥20%. Most of the hypermethylated genes were involved in the MAPK signaling pathway which is a key regulator for apoptosis while the hypomethylated genes were involved in the PI3K-AKT signaling pathway and proliferation process. We also demonstrate that 5-azadC treatment enhanced response to 5-FU which resulted in significant growth inhibition compared to 5-FU alone in hypermethylated cell lines SW48. In conclusion, we found the evidence of five potentially biologically important genes in recurrent CRCs that could possibly serve as a new potential therapeutic targets for patients with chemoresistance. We postulate that aberrant methylation of CCNEI, CCNDBP1, PON3, DDX43, and CHL1 in CRC might be associated with the recurrence of CRC and 5-azadC-mediated restoration of 5-FU sensitivity is mediated at least in part by MAPK signaling pathway.
A Central nervous system (CNS) disease is the one which affects either the spinal cord or brain and causing neurological or psychiatric complications. During the nineteenth century, modern medicines have occupied the therapy for many ailments and are widely used these days. Herbal medicines have often maintained popularity for historical and cultural reasons and also considered safer as they originate from natural sources. Embelin is a plant-based benzoquinone which is the major active constituent of the fruits of Embelia ribes Burm. It is an Indo-Malaysian species, extensively used in various traditional medicine systems for treating various diseases. Several natural products including quinone derivatives, which are considered to possess better safety and efficacy profile, are known for their CNS related activity. The bright orange hydroxybenzoquinone embelin-rich fruits of E. ribes have become popular in ethnomedicine. The present systematic review summarizes the effects of embelin on central nervous system and related diseases. A PRISMA model for systematic review was utilized for search. Various electronic databases such as Pubmed, Springer, Scopus, ScienceDirect, and Google Scholar were searched between January 2000 and February 2016. Based on the search criteria for the literature, 13 qualified articles were selected and discussed in this review. The results of the report showed that there is a lack of translational research and not a single study was found in human. This report gives embelin a further way to be explored in clinical trials for its safety and efficacy.
Cancer mortality and morbidity is projected to increase significantly over the next few decades. Current chemotherapeutic strategies have significant limitations, and there is great interest in seeking novel therapies which are capable of specifically targeting cancer cells. Given that fundamental differences exist between the cellular membranes of healthy cells and tumor cells, novel therapies based on targeting membrane lipids in cancer cells is a promising approach that deserves attention in the field of anticancer drug development. Phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), a lipid membrane component which exists only in the inner leaflet of cell membrane under normal circumstances, has increased surface representation on the outer membrane of tumor cells with disrupted membrane asymmetry. PE thus represents a potential chemotherapeutic target as the higher exposure of PE on the membrane surface of cancer cells. This feature as well as a high degree of expression of PE on endothelial cells in tumor vasculature, makes PE an attractive molecular target for future cancer interventions. There have already been several small molecules and membrane-active peptides identified which bind specifically to the PE molecules on the cancer cell membrane, subsequently inducing membrane disruption leading to cell lysis. This approach opens up a new front in the battle against cancer, and is of particular interest as it may be a strategy that may be prove effective against tumors that respond poorly to current chemotherapeutic agents. We aim to highlight the evidence suggesting that PE is a strong candidate to be explored as a potential molecular target for membrane targeted novel anticancer therapy.
Spontaneous adverse drug reactions (ADRs) reporting is a useful source of drug safety information in infants as only adult patients are routinely tested in clinical trials. This study was aimed to evaluate the spontaneously reported ADRs using WHO Adverse Reaction Terminology and to identify the common drugs associated with ADRs in children under 2 years of age. A retrospective analysis of ADR data for children below 2 years old from 2000 to 2013 was conducted using the data extracted from Malaysia's national pharmacovigilance database, QUEST2 System. From 2000 to 2013, Malaysia's National Pharmaceutical Control Bureau received a total of 11,932 reports for children from various healthcare facilities in Malaysia. 14.0% (n = 1667) of the ADRs reported for those children were related to children under 2 years old. The data retrieved was analyzed in terms of age, gender, source of reporting, type of reporters, suspected medicines and characteristics of ADRs (category, onset, severity, and outcomes). A total of 1312 ADRs reported in 907 ADR reports were analyzed. The most common ADRs reported were skin appendage disorders (60.1%), and the most frequently reported symptoms were rash (n = 215), maculopapular rash (n = 206), urticaria (n = 169), erythematous rash (n = 76), and pruritus (n = 58). In general, drugs from antibacterials for systemic use (58.8%) appeared to be the most common contributors to ADRs in children below 2 years old. Penicillins and other β-Lactam Antibacterials accounted for more than 40% of all drugs implicated in ADRs. The majority of ADRs were subacute reactions that occurred within 24 h of exposure to the drug. A high proportion of ADRs was classified as mild, and most victims had no sequela. Only one fatality was seen. There were 10 cases for each symptom, namely erythema multiforme and Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, observed in this study. A large proportion of ADRs in children under 2 years old were mainly caused by drugs from antibacterial for systemic use, with most of the ADRs manifesting in skin reactions. This study also reveals rare cutaneous ADRs experienced by Malaysian children under the age of 2, which constitutes a crucial cause of harm among children.
Depression is the most common illness observed in the elderly, adults, and children. Antidepressants prescribed are usually synthetic drugs and these can sometimes cause a wide range of unpleasant side effects. Current research is focussed on natural products from plants as they are a rich source of potent new drug leads. Besides Hypericum perforatum (St. John's wort), the plants studied include Passiflora incarnata L. (passion flower), Mitragyna speciosa (kratom), Piper methysticum G. Forst (kava) and Valeriana officinalis L. Harman, harmol, harmine, harmalol and harmaline are indole alkaloids isolated from P. incarnata, while mitragynine is isolated from M. speciosa. The structure of isolated compounds from P. methysticum G. Forst and V. officinalis L. contains an indole moiety. The indole moiety is related to the neurotransmitter serotonin which is widely implicated for brain function and cognition as the endogenous receptor agonist. An imbalance in serotonin levels may influence mood in a way that leads to depression. The moiety is present in a number of antidepressants already on the market. Hence, the objective of this review is to discuss bioactive compounds containing the indole moiety from plants that can serve as potent antidepressants.
The immune system is complex and pervasive as it functions to prevent or limit infections in the human body. In a healthy organism, the immune system and the redox balance of immune cells maintain homeostasis within the body. The failure to maintain the balance may lead to impaired immune response and either over activity or abnormally low activity of the immune cells resulting in autoimmune or immune deficiency diseases. Compounds containing α,β-unsaturated carbonyl-based moieties are often reactive. The reactivity of these groups is responsible for their diverse pharmacological activities, and the most important and widely studied include the natural compounds curcumin, chalcone, and zerumbone. Numerous studies have revealed the mainly immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory activities of the aforesaid compounds. This review highlights the specific immunosuppressive effects of these natural α,β-unsaturated carbonyl-based compounds, and their analogs and derivatives on different types of immune cells of the innate (granulocytes, monocytes, macrophages, and dendritic cells) and adaptive (T cells, B cells, and natural killer cells) immune systems. The inhibitory effects of these compounds have been comprehensively studied on neutrophils, monocytes and macrophages but their effects on T cells, B cells, natural killer cells, and dendritic cells have not been well investigated. It is of paramount importance to continue generating experimental data on the mechanisms of action of α,β-unsaturated carbonyl-based compounds on immune cells to provide useful information for ensuing research to discover new immunomodulating agents.
A constellation of medical conditions inclusive of central obesity, hyperglycemia, hypertension, and dyslipidemia is known as metabolic syndrome (MetS). The safest option in curtailing the progression of MetS is through maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which by itself, is a long-term commitment entailing much determination. A combination of pharmacological and non-pharmacological approach, as well as lifestyle modification is a more holistic alternative in the management of MetS. Vitamin E has been revealed to possess anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-obesity, anti-hyperglycemic, anti-hypertensive and anti-hypercholesterolemic properties. The pathways regulated by vitamin E are critical in the development of MetS and its components. Therefore, we postulate that vitamin E may exert some health benefits on MetS patients. This review intends to summarize the evidence in animal and human studies on the effects of vitamin E and articulate the contrasting potential of tocopherol (TF) and tocotrienol (T3) in preventing the medical conditions associated with MetS. As a conclusion, this review suggests that vitamin E may be a promising agent for attenuating MetS.
Recent clinical trials have shown that while bivalirudin exhibits similar efficacy with heparin, it offers several advantages over heparin, such as a better safety profile. We aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of bivalirudin use during Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) in the treatment of angina and acute coronary syndrome (ACS). We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) in the Cochrane Library, PubMed, EMBASE, and Science Direct from January 1980 to January 2016. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing bivalirudin to heparin during the course of PCI in patients with angina or ACS were included. Outcome measures included all-cause mortality, myocardial infarction, revascularisation, stent thrombosis, stroke, and major bleeding. The selection, quality assessment, and data extraction of the included trials were done independently by four authors, and disagreements were resolved by consensus. Pooled relative risk (RR) estimates and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated. A total of 12 RCTs involving 44,088 subjects were included. Bivalirudin appeared to be non-superior compared to heparin in reducing all-cause mortality, myocardial infarction, revascularisation, and stroke. Bivalirudin appeared to be related to a higher risk of stent thrombosis when compared to heparin plus provisional use of a glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitor (GPI) at day 30 (RR 1.94 [1.16, 3.24] p < 0.01). Overall, bivalirudin-based regimens present a lesser risk of major bleeding (RR 0.56 [0.44-0.71] p < 0.001), and Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction (TIMI) major bleeding (RR 0.56 [0.43-0.73]) compared with heparin-based regimens either with provisional or routine use of a GPI. However, the magnitude of TIMI major bleeding effect varied greatly (p < 0.001), depending on whether a GPI was provisionally used (RR 0.42 [0.34-0.52] p < 0.001) or routinely used (RR 0.60 [0.43 -0.83] p < 0.001), in the heparin arm. This meta-analysis demonstrated that bivalirudin is associated with a lower risk of major bleeding, but a higher risk of stent thrombosis compared to heparin.
In particular, neuropathic pain is a major form of chronic pain. This type of pain results from dysfunction or lesions in the central and peripheral nervous system. Capsaicin has been traditionally utilized as a medicine to remedy pain. However, the effectiveness and safety of this practice is still elusive. Therefore, this systematic review aimed to investigate the effect of topical capsaicin as a pain-relieving agent that is frequently used in pain management. In brief, all the double-blinded, randomized placebo- or vehicle-controlled trials that were published in English addressing postherpetic neuralgia were included. Meta-analysis was performed using Revman(®) version 5.3. Upon application of the inclusion and exclusion criteria, only six trials fulfilled all the criteria and were included in the review for qualitative analysis. The difference in mean percentage change in numeric pain rating scale score ranges from -31 to -4.3. This demonstrated high efficacy of topical capsaicin application and implies that capsaicin could result in pain reduction. Furthermore, meta-analysis was performed on five of the included studies. All the results of studies are in favor of the treatment using capsaicin. The incidence of side effects from using topical capsaicin is consistently higher in all included studies, but the significance of safety data cannot be quantified due to a lack of p-values in the original studies. Nevertheless, topical capsaicin is a promising treatment option for specific patient groups or certain neuropathic pain conditions such as postherpetic neuralgia.
Despite limited evidence on safety and efficacy of drug use in neonates, drugs are extensively used in this age group. However, the availability of information on drug consumption in neonates, especially inpatient neonates, is limited. This paper systematically reviews published studies on drug utilization in hospitalized neonates. A systematic literature review was carried out to identify observational studies published from inception of databases used till August 2016. Four search engines, namely Medline, CINAHL, Embase, and PubMed, were used. Publications written in English that described drug utilization in neonatal wards were selected. Assessment of the data was based on the category of the study design, the objective of study and the method used in reporting drug consumption. A total of 20 drug utilization studies were identified, 12 of which focused on all drug classes, while the other eight evaluated antimicrobials. Studies were reported in Europe (n = 7), the United States (n = 6), India (n = 5), Brazil (n = 1), and Iran (n = 1). Substantial variance with regard to study types (study design and methods), data source, and sample size were found among the selected studies. Of the studies included, 45% were cross-sectional or retrospective, 40% were prospective studies, and the remaining 15% were point prevalence surveys. More than 70% of the studies were descriptive studies, describing drug consumption patterns. Fifteen per cent of the descriptive studies evaluated changes in drug utilization patterns in neonates. Volume of units was the most prevalent method used for reporting all drug categories. The ATC/DDD system for reporting drug use was only seen in studies evaluating antimicrobials. The most commonly reported drugs across all studies are anti-infectives for systemic use, followed by drugs for the cardiovascular system, the nervous system and the respiratory system. Ampicillin and gentamicin were the most prescribed antimicrobials in hospitalized neonates. The present review reveals that neonates are exposed to a high number of drugs and various methods are used to report drug consumption in this age group. The best measure of drug consumption to quantify prevalence of drug use in neonates remains to be identified and additional research in this area is warranted.