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Toxicity reduces if drugs are delivered as liquid salt through skin

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New York: Researchers say that formulating drugs as liquid salts may provide a safe and efficient strategy for topical delivery of drugs that cause skin toxicity. The researchers who brought out the findings also included one of Indian-origin.

A novel formulation of the drug propranolol as a liquid salt enables delivery through the skin with reduced toxicity, the findings showed.

“Propranolol is positively charged which is a likely source of its toxicity. Shielding of this charge by association with a counter species in the liquid salt reduces its toxicity. These findings are broadly applicable to many charged drugs” said study senior author Samir Mitragotri, a professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara in the US.

Skin toxicity remains a major challenge in the design and use of new topical drug formulations. Many drugs must be dissolved in organic solvents which are typically toxic to the skin.

Many drugs such as propranolol itself show dose-dependent skin toxicity. Formulating drugs as liquid salt mitigates both sources of toxicity.

Given their fluid nature, liquid salts eliminate the necessity of organic solvents. In addition, counter ions used to form the liquid salts shield the drug charge, which further reduces drug-induced toxicity.

The researchers said that this is the first study that reports the design of liquid salts to minimise skin toxicity. Such formulations can increase the spectrum of drugs that can be safely delivered via a transdermal patch.

“This technology presents an exciting new, patient compliant solution for treating diseases,” study co-author Michael Zakrewsky from University of California, Santa Barbara. (IANS), (image courtesy: irp-cdn.multiscreensite.com)

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EDM party-goers at high opioid dependence risk

Opioid use has grown to epidemic proportions in the US and has been the main contributor to a resurgence of heroin use as well as the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C

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EDM party-goers are more likely to use drugs. IANS
  • EDM party goers are known to use many drugs
  • They also misuse opioids like heroin
  • The dance party goers are always at a higher risk of using drugs

Not just common party drugs like ecstasy, more and more electronic dance music (EDM) party attendees are misusing opioids like heroin, researchers claim.

Opioid use has grown to epidemic proportions in the US and has been the main contributor to a resurgence of heroin use as well as the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C, the team from New York University said.

Drugs, Rehabilitation centre
Party goers are misusing opioids like heroin. Pixabay

“We’ve always known that electronic dance music party attendees are at high risk for use of club drugs such as ecstasy or Molly, but we wanted to know the extent of opioid use in this population,” said Joseph Palamar, Associate Professor at New York University.

“This population of experienced drug users needs to be reached to prevent initiation and continued use, which can lead to riskier and more frequent use, dependence, and deleterious outcomes such as overdose – particularly if opioids are combined with other drugs,” Palamar added.

Also Read: Indonesia’s War on Drugs Follows Philippines’ Infamous Crusade to Curb Drug Use

To reach this conclusion, the researchers surveyed 954 individuals (ages 18 to 40) about to enter EDM parties at nightclubs and dance festivals in New York City. Attendees were asked about the use of 18 different opioids — including OxyContin, Percocet, Vicodin, codeine, fentanyl and heroin.

Cocaine
these drugs are causing health issues like HIV and hepatitis C. Wikimedia Commons

The researchers found that almost a quarter (23.9 per cent) of EDM party attendees have used opioids non-medically in their lifetime and one out of 10 (9.8 per cent) did so in the past year. IANS

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