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   2012| July-September  | Volume 4 | Issue 3  
    Online since July 26, 2012

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Nanotechnology in cosmetics: Opportunities and challenges
Silpa Raj, Shoma Jose, US Sumod, M Sabitha
July-September 2012, 4(3):186-193
Nanotechnology is the science of manipulating atoms and molecules in the nanoscale - 80,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair. The world market for products that contain nanomaterials is expected to reach $2.6 trillion by 2015. The use of nanotechnology has stretched across various streams of science, from electronics to medicine and has now found applications in the field of cosmetics by taking the name of nanocosmetics. This widespread influence of nanotechnology in the cosmetic industries is due to the enhanced properties attained by the particles at the nano level including color, transparency, solubility etc. The different types of nanomaterials employed in cosmetics include nanosomes, liposomes, fullerenes, solid lipid nanoparticles etc. Recently, concerns over the safety of such nanocosmetics are raised and have forced the cosmetic industries to limit the use of nanotechnology in cosmetics and for enforcing laws to undergo a full-fledged safety assessment before they enter into the market. In this review, emphasis is made on the types of nanomaterials used in cosmetics by the various cosmetic brands, the potential risks caused by them both to human life and also to the environment and what all regulations have been undertaken or can be taken to overcome them.
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A novel chiral GC/MS method for the analysis of fluoxetine and norfluoxetine enantiomers in biological fluids
Janet Mifsud, Lino J Sghendo
July-September 2012, 4(3):236-245
Aims: A novel robust chiral gas chromatographic/mass spectrometric (GC/MS) method for the separation and measurement of fluoxetine and norfluoxetine enantiomers in urine and plasma was developed. Materials and Methods: The drug was extracted from the samples by a liquid-liquid technique, using chloroform, and the enantiomers were separated and measured on a chiral gas chromatographic column (HYDRODEX β-6TBDM®, 0.25 μm × 0.25 mm × 50 m). GC/MS instrumentation was used for the acquisition of data in the electron impact selective-ion monitoring mode. Results: The ions chosen were of a mass-to-charge ratio (m/z) exactly equal to 44 units, in order to measure fluoxetine enantiomers, 134 units in order to measure norfluoxetine enantiomers, and 58 units in order to measure diphenhydramine, the internal standard. The method was found to be linear and reproducible in the 50-500 ng/mL concentration range for both urine samples and plasma samples and for both fluoxetine and norfluoxetine, with correlation coefficients ranging between 0.994 and 0.997. Conclusions: This methodology has an enormous potential for application in pharmacokinetic studies of the enantiomers of fluoxetine
  17,649 162 14
Recent advances in gene therapy for thalassemia
JV Raja, MA Rachchh, RH Gokani
July-September 2012, 4(3):194-201
Thalassemias are genetically transmitted disorders. Depending upon whether the genetic defects or deletion lies in transmission of α or β globin chain gene, thalassemias are classified into α and β-thalassemias. Thus, thalassemias could be cured by introducing or correcting a gene into the hematopoietic compartment or a single stem cell. Initial attempts at gene transfer have proved unsuccessful due to limitations of available gene transfer vectors. The present review described the newer approaches to overcome these limitations, includes the introduction of lentiviral vectors. New approaches have also focused on targeting the specific mutation in the globin genes, correcting the DNA sequence or manipulating the development in DNA translocation and splicing to restore globin chain synthesis. This review mainly discusses the gene therapy strategies for the thalassemias, including the use of lentiviral vectors, generation of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, gene targeting, splice-switching and stop codon readthrough.
  7,148 367 9
Locust bean gum: Exploring its potential for biopharmaceutical applications
Marita Dionísio, Ana Grenha
July-September 2012, 4(3):175-185
Polysaccharides have been finding, in the last decades, very interesting and useful applications in the biomedical and, specifically, in the biopharmaceutical field. Locust bean gum is a polysaccharide belonging to the group of galactomannans, being extracted from the seeds of the carob tree (Ceratonia siliqua). This polymer displays a number of appealing characteristics for biopharmaceutical applications, among which its high gelling capacity should be highlighted. In this review, we describe critical aspects of locust bean gum, contributing for its role in biopharmaceutical applications. Physicochemical properties, as well as strong and effective synergies with other biomaterials are described. The potential for in vivo biodegradation is explored and the specific biopharmaceutical applications are discussed.
  6,781 264 62
The effects of Nigella sativa hydro-alcoholic extract and thymoquinone on lipopolysaccharide - induced depression like behavior in rats
Mahmoud Hosseini, Samaneh Zakeri, Sadieh Khoshdast, Fatemeh T Yousefian, Monireh Rastegar, Farzaneh Vafaee, Shamsi Kahdouee, Fatemeh Ghorbani, Hassan Rakhshandeh, S Abolfazl Kazemi
July-September 2012, 4(3):219-225
Background: Neuroimmune factors have been proposed as contributors to the pathogenesis of depression. Beside other therapeutic effects including neuroprotective, antioxidant, anticonvulsant and analgesic effects, Nigella sativa and its main ingredient, thymoquinone (TQ), have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects. In the present study, the effects of Nigella sativa hydro-alcoholic extract and thymoquinone was investigated on lipopolysaccharide- induced depression like behavior in rats. Materials and Methods: 50 male Wistar rats were divided into 5 groups: Group 1 (control group) received saline instead of NS extract, thymoquinone or lipopolysaccharide. The animals in group 2 (lipopolysaccharide (LPS)) were treated by saline instead of NS extract and were injected LPS (100μg/kg, ip) 2 hours before conducting each forced swimming test. Groups 3 (LPS + NS 200) and 4 (LPS + NS 400) were treated by 200 and 400 mg/kg of NS (ip), respectively, from the day before starting the experiments and before each forced swimming test. These animals were also injected LPS 2hours before conducting each swimming test. The animals in group 5 received TQ instead of NS extract. Forced swimming test was performed 3 times for all groups (in alternative days), and immobility time was recorded. Finally, the animals were placed in an open- field apparatus, and the crossing number on peripheral and central areas was observed. Results: The immobility time in the LPS group was higher than that in the control group in all 3 times (P<0.001). The animals in LPS + NS 200, LPS + NS 400 and LPS + TQ had lower immobility times in comparison with LPS groups (P<0.01, and P<0.01). In the open- field test, the crossing number of peripheral in the LPS group was higher than that of the control one (P<0.01) while the animals of LPS + NS 200, LPS + NS 400 and LPS + TQ groups had lower crossing number of peripheral compared with the LPS group (P <0.05, and P<0.001). Furthermore, in the LPS group, the central crossing number was lower than that of the control group (P<0.01). In the animals treated by NS or TQ, the central crossing number was higher than that of the LPS group (P<0.05, and P<0.001). Conclusions: The results of the present study showed that hydro-alcoholic extract of Nigella sativa can prevent LPS-induced depression like behavior in rats. These results support the traditional belief on the beneficial effects of Nigella sativa in the nervous system. Moreover, further investigations are required in order to better understand this protective effect.
  6,178 199 40
Medicine utilization review at a university teaching hospital in New Delhi
M Aqil, V Bhadana, MS Alam, KK Pillai, P Kapur
July-September 2012, 4(3):202-206
Objective: A prospective medicine usage evaluation based on prescription monitoring was conducted in the medicine OPD of our university teaching hospital to know prescribing trends of different categories of medicines. Materials and Methods: A total of 600 patients were included in the study comprising of 339 (56.5%) males and 261 (43.5%) females. The data were recorded within the OPD by a registered pharmacist on a medicine usage evaluation form, approved by The University Institutional Review Board (IRB). Results: A total of 2365 medicines were prescribed to 600 patients during the 3 months study period. The mean number of medicines per prescription were found to be 3.94. Medicines were most frequently prescribed as solid dosage forms (85.62%), especially tablets (70.82%), and liquid formulations (14.12%). Oral route (96.17%) was the most preferred mode of administration, followed by topical (2.11%) and parenteral (1.60%) routes. Combination therapy (94.33%) was more prevalent than monotherapy (5.66%). An overwhelming tendency for prescribing medicines by brand names (99%) was observed by the physicians. The most frequently prescribed class of medicines were antimicrobials > analgesics > cardiovascular > gastrointestinal agents. The most prescribed individual medicines among various therapeutic classes included isoniazid (antimicrobial), amlodipine (cardiovascular), metformin (hypoglycemic), cetirizine (antiallergic), rabeprazole (GI medicine), atorvastatin (hypolipidemic), dextromethorphan (respiratory medicine), alprazolam (sedative-hypnotic), paracetamol (analgesic). Conclusions: There is a considerable scope of improvement in the existing prescribing practice, especially prescribing by generic names, needs to be encouraged and a hospital formulary has to be developed for the purpose. The number of medicines to be included per prescription should be judged rationally and polypharmacy ought to be curbed. Use of antimicrobial also needs to be rationalized as over usage of antibiotics may lead to the problems such as medicine resistance and noncompliance.
  4,991 189 -
Antimicrobial resistance of Staphylococcus aureus strains from patients with urinary tract infections in Yenagoa, Nigeria
Adebola Onanuga, Godwin Oghenekparobo Awhowho
July-September 2012, 4(3):226-230
Context: Antimicrobial resistance in Staphylococcus aureus infections is a global public health problem resulting in very limited treatment options. This study determined the antimicrobial resistance pattern of S. aureus strains from urinary tract infections (UTIs) to commonly used antimicrobial agents. Materials and Methods: Midstream urine specimens of UTIs symptomatic patients from public and private health institutions in Yenagoa, Nigeria were collected, cultured, and screened for common pathogens using standard microbiological protocols. The antimicrobial susceptibility of identified S. aureus strains was evaluated using disc diffusion and agar dilution techniques. Results: A total of 46 (33.6%) S. aureus strains were identified from 137 growths of the 200 urine specimens. All the S. aureus isolates were methicillin resistant; they exhibited total resistance to ampicillin, 97.8% to tetracycline, 80.4% to chloramphenicol and co-trimoxazole, 73.9% to gentamicin, 69.6% to augmentin and vancomycin, 54.3% to cefuroxime, 39.1% to nitrofurantoin, 34.8% to ofloxacin, and 32.6% to ciprofloxacin. The isolates were commonly resistant to 7 (77.8%) of the nine classes of antimicrobial agents used in this study and 45 (97.8%) of all the isolates were multi-resistant. Conclusion: The faster rate at which this pathogen is developing resistance to nitrofurantoin and fluoroquinolones is reducing their usefulness in the empiric treatment of uncomplicated UTIs. Thus, the need to adopt new strategies in the control of antibiotic resistance in this country cannot be overemphasized.
  4,630 216 13
HCG: Yet another fraudulence
Sunil K Pandey
July-September 2012, 4(3):255-256
  4,019 108 -
Effect of hydroalcoholic extract of Hypericum perforatum on selected traditional and novel biochemical factors of cardiovascular diseases and atherosclerotic lesions in hypercholesterolemic rabbits: A comparison between the extract and lovastatin
Sedigheh Asgary, Amirreza Solhpour, Sahar Parkhideh, Hossein Madani, Parvin Mahzouni, Najmeh Kabiri
July-September 2012, 4(3):212-218
Context: Evidence suggests that diets with high contents of cholesterol will increase serum lipoproteins and apolipoproteins, thereby increase risk of atherosclerosis. According to literature, some plants show hypolipidemic, hypocholestrolemic, and antiatherosclerotic activities. Aims: In this study, antiatherosclerotic effect of Hypericum perforatum hydroalcoholic extract on hypercholesterolemic rabbits was compared with that of lovastatin. Materials and Methods: Twenty five mature male New Zealand rabbits were randomly divided into five groups of five and were fed for 60 days as follows: Standard diet (GroupI), standard diet and hydroalcoholic extract of Hypericum perforatum (150 mg/kg daily)(GroupII), standard diet, hydroalcoholic extract of Hypericum perforatum (150 mg/ kg daily) and cholesterol (1% of food content) (Group III), standard diet and cholesterol (1% of food content)(GroupIV), and finally standard diet, lovastatin (10 mg/kg), and cholesterol (1% of foodcontent) (GroupV). Results: Hypericum perforatum extract significantly decreased the levels of apolipoprotein B(apoB), apolipoprotein B/apolipoprotein A (apoB/apoA), triglyceride, cholesterol, low density lipoprotein cholesterol, oxidized LDL, malondialdehyde, and C-reactive protein (CRP) as well as atherosclerosis index, and increased high density lipoprotein and apoA in rabbits of Group III compared to the rabbits of Group IV. The effect of Hypericum perforatum extract in decreasing the level of some biochemical factors like apoB, apoB/apoA, and CRP was meaningfully more than that of lovastatin. Histopathological findings confirmed that hydroalcoholic extract of Hypericum perforatum restricted the atherosclerotic lesions. Conclusions: This study indicates that hydroalcoholic extract of Hypericum perforatum possesses hypolipidemic and anti-atherosclerotic effects and could be beneficial in the management of hyperlipidemia and atherosclerosis.
  3,895 160 3
Amla as an antihyperglycemic and hepato-renal protective agent in fluoride induced toxicity
Rupal A Vasant, A. V. R. L. Narasimhacharya
July-September 2012, 4(3):250-254
Purpose of the study was to examine the antihyperglycemic and hepato-renal protective effects of Emblica officinalis (Eo) fruit as a food supplement in fluoride induced toxicity. Eo fruit powder was incorporated into the diet (2.5, 5 and 10 gm %) of fluoride exposed animals for a duration of 30 days. Fluoride exposure caused significant elevation in plasma glucose, serum glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase (SGOT), serum glutamate pyruvate transaminase (SGPT), acid phosphatase (ACP), alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activities, hepatic glucose-6-phosphatase (G-6-Pase) and decreased hepatic glycogen content, hexokinase activity and antioxidant profiles (hepatic and renal). An inclusion of Eo fruit powder significantly reduced plasma glucose levels, SGOT, SGPT, ACP and ALP activities, hepatic G-6-Pase activity and increased hepatic glycogen content and hexokinase activity. Hepatic and renal antioxidant status of fluoride exposed animals improved upon feeding Eo fruit powder. We, therefore, conclude that E. officinalis fruit could be useful in regulating hyperglycemia and enhances antioxidant status of fluoride exposed animals.
  3,531 243 1
Synthesis and biological evaluation of Schiff bases and azetidinones of 1-naphthol
Sushil Kumar, Punit Kumar, Nitin Sati
July-September 2012, 4(3):246-249
Introduction: Schiff bases and azetidinones form an important structural class possessing wide spectrum of biological activities that include antibacterial and antifungal activity. A series of Schiff's bases N′-(substituted benzylidene)-2-(naphthalen-1-yloxy) acetohydrazides (3a-f) and azetidinones N-[3-chloro-2-oxo-4-(substituted phenyl)-azetidin-1-yl]-2-(naphthalen-1-yloxy) acetamides (4a-b) were synthesized and tested for antimicrobial activity. Materials and Methods: The chemical structures of synthesized compounds were elucidated on the basis of IR and 1H NMR spectroscopy. The synthesized compounds were screened for antibacterial activity against E. coli (ESS 2231) and B. subtilis (MTCC 441). The compounds were also tested for antifungal activity against A. niger (NCIM 618) and C. albicans (NCIM 3557) by the cup diffusion method. Results and Discussion: The in vitro antimicrobial activity results showed that the N-[3-chloro-2-oxo-4-(4-substitutedphenyl)-azetidin-1-yl]-2-(naphthalen-1-yloxy) acetamides (4a-b) exhibited better antibacterial activity than the synthesized N′-(substituted benzylidene)-2-(naphthalen-1-yloxy)-acetohydrazides (3a-f). Compound (4b) displayed potent antibacterial activity against the B. subtilis and E. coli (MIC values of 16-64 μg/mL). The antifungal activity of the synthesized compounds (3a-f and 4a-b) against the A. niger and C. albicans was relatively weak, most of the compounds showed poor activities (MIC >128μg/mL). Conclusion: The antibacterial activity of the synthesized compounds was moderate to low and antifungal activity was relatively weak. Therefore, a further study with this class of compounds is necessary to elucidate the mechanism and structure activity relationship.
  3,465 232 7
Carcinogenic effects of N-nitroso-3-(substituted phenylimino)-indolin-2-one derivatives
Murali Kumarasamy, Panneerselvam Theivendren, Rousso Govindarajan, Scott G Franzblau, Kirthiga Ramalingam
July-September 2012, 4(3):207-211
Aim: A novel series of N-nitroso-3-(substituted phenylimino)-indolin-2-one 3a-h was synthesized and tested for carcinogenic effects. Materials and Methods: The synthesized pyrazole derivatives' chemical structures were proved by means of their infra red (IR), proton nuclear magnetic resonance ( 1 H-NMR), and mass,and confirmed by elemental analyses. The carcinogenic activity was assessed by 3-(4,5dimethyl thiazole-2yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazoliumbromide (MTT) cell-viability assay. Results: The results show that most of the synthesized compounds exhibit significant carcinogenic activities. Among the synthesized compounds, N-nitroso-3-(2,4-dinitrophenylimino)-indolin-2-one 3h exhibited the most potent carcinogenic activity. Conclusion: The structure-activity relationship (SAR) studies show that the nature as well as the position of the amine are important for deciding the activity profile of the indolin-2-one derivatives, which reiterates the need for further experimental investigations.
  3,394 119 -
Hepatoprotective potential of ether insoluble phenolic components of n-butanol fraction (EPC-BF) of flaxseed against CCl 4 -induced liver damage in rats
DM Kasote, YS Badhe, AA Zanwar, MV Hegde, KK Deshmukh
July-September 2012, 4(3):231-235
Objective: to investigate the hepatoprotective potential of ether insoluble phenolic components of n-butanol fraction (EPC-BF) of flaxseed against CCl 4 -induced liver damage in rats. Materials and Methods: Hepatotoxicity was induced to Wistar rats by administration of 0.2% CCl 4 in olive oil (8 mL/kg, i.p.) on the seventh day of treatment. Hepatoprotective potential of EPC-BF at doses, 250 and 500 mg/kg, p.o. was assessed through biochemical and histological parameters. Results: EPC-BF and silymarin pretreated animal groups showed significantly decreased activities of Aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and level of total bilirubin, elevated by CCl 4 intoxication. Hepatic lipid peroxidation elevated by CCl 4 intoxication were also found to be alleviated at almost normal level in the EPC-BF and silymarin pretreated groups. Histological studies supported the biochemical findings and treatment of EPC-BF at doses 250 and 500 mg/kg, p.o. was found to be effective in restoring CCl 4 -induced hepatic damage. However, EPC-BF did not show dose-dependent hepatoprotective potential. EPC-BF depicted maximum protection against CCl 4 -induced hepatic damage at lower dose 250 mg/kg than higher dose (500 mg/ kg). Conclusion: EPC-BF possesses the significant hepatoprotective activity against CCl 4 induced liver damage, which could be mediated through increase in antioxidant defenses.
  3,053 129 5