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Toxicity reduces if drugs are delivered as liquid salt through skin


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:

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Novel AI tool may help tackle substance abuse in youth

The team tackled this problem from an AI perspective, creating an algorithm that takes into account both how the individuals in a subgroup are connected and their prior history of substance abuse

self harm
Societal pressure and lack of support often forces young adults to indulge in impulsive self-harm mechanisms like drug overdose and self cutting. Pixabay
  • New AI tool may help tackle substance abuse in youth
  • The AI uses a new type of algorithm
  • Group therapy is one way of curing the abuse

Researchers have developed a novel algorithm-based on artificial intelligence (AI) that leverages social networks to optimise substance abuse intervention groups for the homeless youth.

The algorithm categorises participants, who voluntarily work on recovery, into smaller groups, or subgroups, in a way that maintains helpful social connections and breaks social connections that could be detrimental to recovery and inadvertently expose them to negative behaviours.

Drugs, Rehabilitation centre
This new Ai can help teens suffering from substance abuse. Pixabay

“We know that substance abuse is highly affected by social influence; in other words, who you are friends with,” said Aida Rahmattalabi, a post-doctoral student at the University of Southern California in the US.

“In order to improve the effectiveness of interventions, you need to know how people will influence each other in a group,” Rahmattalabi added. While group therapy can offer support to homeless youth, if not structured properly, they can also lead to friendships based on anti-social behaviour.

Also Read: Women-Centric Drug Rehabilitation Centers in Hyderabad is Saving Young Girls from Recreational Drugs like LSD

The team tackled this problem from an AI perspective, creating an algorithm that takes into account both how the individuals in a subgroup are connected — their social ties — and their prior history of substance abuse.

Drug overdose
Group theray can save many lives. Pixabay

Survey data gathered voluntarily from homeless youth, as well as behavioural theories and observations of previous interventions, were used to build a computational model of the interventions.

“Based on this we have an influence model that explains how likely it is for an individual to adopt negative behaviours or change negative behaviours based on their participation in the group,” Rahmattalabi noted. “This helps us predict what happens when we group people into smaller groups,” she said. IANS

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