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Healthcare online Keeping you up-to-date
VOL. 11  ISSUE:  4  April  2013 Medical Services Department

SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

Features

EDITORIAL TEAM

OMAR AKRAMUR RAB

MBBS, FCGP, FIAGP,

P G Dip. Business Management

MAHFUZUR RAHMAN

 MBBS, MBA

 

EDITORIAL

Dear Doctor,

Hope you are enjoying 'e-SQUARE'.

Our current issue focused on some interesting features like -

"Statins protect Kidney !", "Balding Risks Heart !", "E-Cigarette !", "Belly Fat Alert",  "Ovarian Cancer Vaccine !", "Sildenafil & Adipose Tissue !".

In our regular feature, we have some new products information of SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd. as well.

We will appreciate your feedback !

Click on to reply mode.

Yours sincerely,

 

Editorial Team

Reply Mode      : e-square@squaregroup.com

The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect those of its editor or SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

 Statins Protect Kidney !

  Statins Show Protective Effect Against Acute Kidney Injury

Initiating a statin prior to coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery may modestly reduce the risk of acute kidney injury (AKI) post-CABG, especially in patients less than 65 years old, according to research published March 15 in The American Journal of Cardiology. Researcher of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and colleagues utilized an epidemiological approach to estimate the effect of initiating statin pre-operatively on AKI after CABG. According to the researchers, of the 17,077 CABG patients identified, post-CABG AKI developed in 3.4 percent of patients who started statin pre-operatively and 6.2 percent of patients who did not receive statin. After adjusting for confounders, a protective effect of statin initiation on AKI was observed (relative risk [RR], 0.78; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.63 to 0.96). This protective is observed in patients younger than 65 years (RR, 0.62; 95 percent CI, 0.45 to 0.86) and not in patients older than 65 years (RR, 0.91; 95 percent CI, 0.68 to 1.20). "Our study supports the hypothesis that prescribing a statin before CABG in those not already receiving statin therapy may modestly attenuate the incidence of post-CABG AKI, particularly among younger patients," the authors write.  

SOURCE: HealthDay News, April 2013

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 Balding Risks Heart !

Balding Men Could Face Higher Heart Risks, Study Finds

New research out of Japan shows a potential link between male baldness and an increased risk for coronary heart disease. But it only affects men who are balding on top. Those with a receding hairline are not at risk, the researchers reported. The findings stem from an analysis of six published studies on hair loss and heart health that involved approximately 37,000 men. And although the researchers admitted the small study size was a limitation, they reported that men whose baldness affected the crown on their head faced a 32 percent to 84 percent increase in the risk of developing heart disease compared to men with a full head of hair or a receding hairline. Study lead author of the department of diabetes and metabolic diseases at the University of Tokyo's Graduate School of Medicine, in Japan, reported his findings in the current issue of the journal BMJ Open and called for more research on the topic. Although the research review found an association between baldness and heart disease risk, it did not prove a cause-and-effect link. Male pattern baldness (technically referred to as "androgenetic alopecia") affects up to 40 percent of adult men and is the most common type of hair loss, the researchers reported. By age 80, about four in five men will experience this form of baldness. To explore the link to heart disease, the researchers analyzed databases covering the period 1950 through 2012. Out of 850 related investigations, they selected six studies, all published between 1993 and 2008 in the United States, Denmark or Croatia. In the three studies that tracked patients for a minimum of 11 years, the research showed that, overall, balding men face a 33 percent greater risk for heart disease than other men, and those between 55 and 60 years old faced an even higher risk (44 percent). The other three studies, comparing the cardiac health of balding men to non-balding men, showed a 70 percent bump in heart disease risk among the balding group, and an 84 percent risk for younger balding men. What's more, a balding man's heart disease risk appeared to be dependent on the severity of his hair loss, with more severe loss translating into greater risk, the studies showed. Research team said the driving mechanism behind the connection is unknown, but they theorized that baldness could be a marker for insulin resistance, chronic inflammation or an increased sensitivity to testosterone, all of which are factors in the onset of heart disease. Regardless, the lead author said, balding men should do what all men should do when it comes to controlling heart disease risk. "I recommend adapting a heart-healthy lifestyle that includes a low-fat diet, exercise and less stress [in order to mitigate against] classical coronary risk factors," such as age, high blood pressure, blood lipid disruption and a history of smoking, he said.

SOURCE:  HealthDay News, April 2013

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 E-Cigarette !

E-Cigarettes Primarily Used To Quit Tobacco: Study

Although the long-term health effects of electronic cigarettes are unknown, a new survey finds people who use the devices think of them as a safer alternative to tobacco and a means to break the smoking habit. Researchers from the UK surveyed about 1,400 e-cigarette users on the Internet, 76 percent of whom said they started using their devices to replace cigarettes entirely. A much smaller percentage said their goal was to quit smoking or to improve their health. One researcher who has studied e-cigarette users said the findings allay fears that people are using the devices to get more nicotine on top of what's already in tobacco cigarettes, instead of for smoking cessation. E-cigarettes were first introduced in China in 2004. The battery-powered devices let users inhale nicotine-infused vapors, which don't contain the harmful tar and carbon monoxide in tobacco smoke. Lead author and her colleagues from the University of East London write in the journal Addiction that there are currently over 100 brands of e-cigarettes, and 3.5 million devices were sold in 2012. Despite the devices' growing popularity, the researchers say, little is known about who uses e-cigarettes and why. For the new study, they created an Internet survey that was accessible from the websites of two e-cigarette manufacturers from September 2011 to May 2012. The survey took about 15 to 20 minutes to complete. Overall, 1,123 ex-smokers and 218 current smokers from 33 different countries took the survey. About 16 percent of participants were from the U.S. and another 77 percent were from Europe. Seventy percent were men. About three quarters of respondents said they started using e-cigarettes as a "complete alternative to smoking," and 22 percent said they started using the devices for "other reasons" - including stopping smoking (7 percent), for health reasons (6 percent) and to get around smoking restrictions (3 percent). Some 86 percent said they had either not smoked cigarettes for several weeks or months since using the e-cigarette or that the amount they smoked had decreased dramatically. The researchers also found that the majority of people responding to the surveys felt their health had improved since using the devices. "Most people reported great health benefits. Their cough was reduced and their breathing was improved," said lead author, who added that the benefits are most likely from people smoking fewer cigarettes and not an effect of the devices or vapors. Still, researchers told that more research is needed on the long-term effects of e-cigarettes. Despite the survey participants' feeling that their breathing eased with e-cigarettes, past research suggests the vapor has at least temporary negative effects on airways. The new study also had limitations. For example, the participants who answered the survey were people who visited the manufacturers' websites and may not be representative of all e-cigarette users and their motivations. Research group notes that some answers to the survey are also based on the participants' memory and that could lead to overestimating the devices' benefits. "For the general public, they need to be better informed about what we know, what we don't know, what the advantages to using them are and what the disadvantages are," said lead author, who has received funding from e-cigarette companies to attend conferences in the past.

SOURCE: Reuters Health, April 2013

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 Belly Fat Alert !

Belly Fat May Be Tied To Kidney Damage

So-called "apple-shaped" people who carry more fat around their bellies than their hips may be at higher risk of kidney disease, a new study suggests. The study measured blood flow through the kidneys of 315 men and women in the Netherlands. Those who had higher waist-to-hip ratios, meaning they tended to store more fat around their bellies compared to their thighs, also had higher blood pressure in their kidneys, even if they were not overweight. Over time, elevated blood pressure damages the small vessels in the kidneys and can decrease their ability to siphon waste from the blood. The study found that each one-unit increase in waist-to-hip ratio was linked to a loss of blood flow through the kidney's tiniest filters, the glomeruli, of about 4 milliliters per minute. The finding was particularly striking to the researchers because "we found that association in healthy subjects who didn't have high blood pressure or diabetes," said study co-author, a doctoral student at the University of Groningen Medical Center. Body weight didn't seem to alter the association, but the bigger a person was, the more their risk increased. "If you have a higher waist-to-hip ratio and you are overweight, you have even a higher risk of having elevated kidney blood pressure," co-author said. The study was published online April 11 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. Researchers aren't sure why belly fat might be bad for the kidneys, and the study doesn't show that abdominal fat is directly responsible for changes in the kidney. But the findings fit nicely with previous studies that have shown that storing fat around the midsection, particularly around the liver, strongly increases the risk for heart disease and diabetes, both of which are linked to kidney disease.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, April 2013

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 Ovarian Cancer Vaccine !

Experimental Vaccine Shows Promise For Ovarian Cancer

A novel but preliminary new treatment for ovarian cancer has apparently produced complete remission for one patient with an advanced form of the disease, researchers are reporting. The promising results of a phase 1 clinical trial for the immunotherapy approach also showed that seven other women had no measurable disease at the end of the trial, the researchers added. Ovarian cancer is fairly rare -- an estimated 1.38 percent of females born today will be diagnosed with the condition -- but it's an especially deadly form of cancer because it is usually diagnosed in an advanced stage. The new treatment uses a personalized vaccine to try to teach the body's immune system how to fight off tumors. Researchers took bits of tumor and blood from women with stage 3 or 4 ovarian cancer and created individualized vaccines, said study lead author, director of clinical development and operations at the Ovarian Cancer Research Center in the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine. "Each patient's tumor is unique like a fingerprint," she added. "We're trying to rewire the immune system to target the tumor." Once the immune system has learned how to more effectively fight the cancer, the researchers isolate immune cells called dendritic cells, coax them to multiply, then put them back into the body to strengthen it. The research is only in the first of three stages that are required before drugs can be sold in the United States. The first-phase studies aren't designed to determine if the drugs actually work, but are instead supposed to analyze whether they're safe. This study, funded in part by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, found signs of improvement in 19 out of 31 patients. All 19 developed an anti-tumor immune response. Of those, eight had no measurable disease and are on maintenance vaccine therapy. And one of the eight, whose cancer recurred several times, has been in remission for 45 months, the study authors said. The researchers added a further step for 11 patients who responded to the vaccine treatment but still had residual disease. They removed immune cells called T cells from patients' blood, stimulated and expanded the cells in the laboratory, and then reinjected them into the patients. Of the 11 patients, seven had stable disease and one had a complete response, the investigators found. Both treatments were given in conjunction with bevacizumab, a drug that controls blood vessel growth. Side effects were mild, the author said. As for cost, she believes that it will be cheaper than some existing cancer drugs that cost $75,000 to $100,000 for a regimen. The next step is to continue research into the treatment, she added.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, April 2013

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 Sildenafil & Adipose Tissue !

 Sildenafil Helps Turn 'Bad' White Adipose Tissue Into 'Good And Healthy' Brown Adipose Tissue

Although sildenafil is best known for promoting erections, it may also serve as a weight loss aid by coaxing our bodies to store more healthy "brown fat" relative to unhealthy "white fat" than it would otherwise do on its own. According to new research published online in The FASEB Journal, this is because sildenafil inhibits the breakdown of cyclic GMP, which has been well known as a messenger molecule used by the body to control blood pressure and flow, and has now been shown to play an important role determining which type of fat - white or brown - the body stores. "There is a growing need for novel treatments against obesity," said a researcher involved in the work from the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Bonn, Biomedical Center in Bonn, Germany. "Finding new positive effects of existing drugs, such as sildenafil, in adipose tissue might help to bridge the period until novel drugs against obesity have been developed."  To make this discovery, researchers used mice to show that cyclic GMP reduced the secretion of pro-inflammatory hormones, which, in turn, shifted the "color code" of fat from white to brown. Mice treated with sildenafil showed browning of the white fat after just a few days of treatment, which is believed to be the result of high cyclic GMP levels. Then the researchers used isolated fat cells and treated the cells directly with cyclic GMP and identified a "browning" effect as well. "Numerous studies show that obesity is a risk factor for virtually every human disease, and that obesity is epidemic. The finding that Sildenafil and similar drugs can change our body fat composition has major implications. These drugs have well defined risk/benefit profiles and are approved for the treatment of erectile disorders. Further research will determine whether they are useful in the treatment of human girth disorders."

SOURCE: Medical News Today, April 2013

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New Products of SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

  Product Glysup Suppository
  Generic Name Glycerine
  Strength 1.15 mg, 2.3 mg 
  Dosage form Suppository
  Therapeutic Category Laxative
  Product Dexonex  IM/IV Injection
Generic Name

Dexamethasone

Strength

5 mg/ml

Dosage form IM/IV Injection
Therapeutic Category Plain corticosteroid
  Product Oculant Eye Drop
  Generic Name Polyethylne Glycol 400+Propylene Glycol
  Strength 0.4%+0.3%
  Dosage form Eye Drops
  Therapeutic Category Ocular Lubricant and Artificial Tears

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