Ph.D, M. Pharm., B. Pham.

Dr. Rajitha Panonnummal joined as lecturer in Amrita School of Pharmacy in October 2017. She completed her B. Pharm from National College of Pharmacy Calicut and her M. Pharm from Govt Medical College Trivandrum. She has two years experience in teaching and has more than 5 years research experience, worked as JRF for two years and as SRF for three years from 2012-2017 in Amrita School of Pharmacy.


Publication Type: Journal Article

Year of Publication Title


M. Peter and Rajitha Panonnummal, “A Review on Newer Ocular Drug Delivery Systems with an Emphasis on Glaucoma”, Advanced Pharmaceutical Bulletin, 2020.[Abstract]

Glaucoma is an irreversible condition resulting from the increase in intraocular pressure (IOP); which leads to permanent loss of vision with the destruction of retinal ganglion cells (RGC). The IOP elevations are controlled in normal by the physiological flow of aqueous humour. A population with age above 40 is more susceptible to glaucoma. Other factors like gender, genetics, race etc. plays major roles in the development of the disease. Current treatment methods available for the disease includes drugs come under the classes of beta receptor blockers, carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, cholinergic agonists, prostaglandins etc. N-Methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) antagonists, inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) inhibition, Cytoskeletal agents, Rho-kinase inhibitors etc are few novel targets sites which are in research focus for the treatment of the disease. Developments in nanomedicine are also being evaluated for their potential in treating the growing glaucomatous population. Nanosystemsare suggested to avoid the difficulties in tackling the various ocular barriers to a limit, help to decrease the instillation frequency of topical medication and can provide drug delivery in a sustained or controlled manner. This review focuses on the current and emerging treatment methods for glaucoma along with some of the nanoformulations for ocular drug delivery.


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G. Divya, Rajitha Panonnummal, Swati P. Gupta, Dr. Jayakumar Rangasamy, and Sabitha, M., “Acitretin and Aloe-Emodin Loaded Chitin Nanogel for the Treatment of Psoriasis”, European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, vol. 107, pp. 97-109, 2016.[Abstract]

The present study focuses on the development of an effective topical nanogel formulation of two anti-psoriatic drugs; Acitretin (Act) and Aloe-emodin (AE) using natural polymer chitin. Simple regeneration chemistry was used to prepare Chitin Nanogel Systems (CNGs). The developed control chitin (CNGs) nanogels, acitretin loaded chitin nanogels (ActCNGs) and aloe-emodin loaded chitin nanogels (AECNGs) were characterized by DLS, SEM, FTIR, XRD and TG-DTA. The systems were found to be spherical in shape with a size range of 98&nbsp;±&nbsp;10, 138&nbsp;±&nbsp;8 and 238&nbsp;±&nbsp;6&nbsp;nm having zeta potential values of +28&nbsp;±&nbsp;3, +27&nbsp;±&nbsp;3 and +25&nbsp;±&nbsp;6&nbsp;mV for CNGs, ActCNGs and AECNGs respectively. The in vitro haemolysis assay revealed that all the nanogel systems are blood compatible. The systems exhibited higher swelling and release at acidic pH. The ex vivo skin permeation studies using porcine skin confirmed the higher deposition of the systems at epidermal and dermal layers, which was confirmed further by fluorescent imaging. The in vivo anti-psoriatic activity study using Perry's mouse tail model and skin safety studies confirmed the potential benefit of the system for topical delivery of acitretin and aloe-emodin in psoriasis. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.

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Rajitha Panonnummal, Gopinath, D., Dr. Raja Biswas, Dr. Sabitha M., and Dr. Jayakumar Rangasamy, “Chitosan nanoparticles in drug therapy of infectious and inflammatory diseases”, Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery, vol. 13, no. 8, pp. 1177-1194, 2016.[Abstract]

Introduction: Chitosan, a polymer from the chitin family has diverse pharmaceutical and bio-medical utility because of its easy widespread availability, non-toxicity, biocompatibility, biodegradability, rich functionalities and high drug-loading capacity. Recent pharmaceutical research has examined the use of chitosan-based systems for drug delivery applications in various diseases. The availability of functional groups permits the conjugation of specific ligands and thus helps to target loaded drugs to the site of infection/inflammation. Slow biodegradation of chitosan permits controlled and sustained release of loaded moieties; reduces the dosing frequency and is useful for improving patient compliance in infectious drug therapy. The muco-adhesion offered by chitosan makes it an attractive candidate for anti-inflammatory drug delivery, where rapid clearance of the active moiety due to the increased tissue permeability is the major problem. The pH-dependent swelling and drug release properties of chitosan present a means of passive targeting of active drug moieties to inflammatory sites. Areas covered: Development of chitosan-based nanoparticulate systems for drug delivery applications is reviewed. The current state of chitosan-based nanosystems; with particular emphasis on drug therapy in inflammatory and infectious diseases is also covered. Expert opinion: The authors believe that chitosan-based nanosystems, due to the special and specific advantages, will have a promising role in the management of infectious and inflammatory diseases. © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor &amp; Francis Group

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Rajitha Panonnummal and Varkey, J., “Anti-inflammatory activity of hmg Co A reductase inhibitors: A comparative study. ”, International Journal of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, vol. 7, no. 3, 2015.[Abstract]

Objective: The purpose of the present study was to reveal the potential pleotropic anti-inflammatory activity of two hmg-co Reductase inhibitors, Rosuvastatin and atorvastatin in comparison with standard drug diclofenac.

Methods: The method used for screening anti-inflammatry activity was In vitro human red blood cell membrane stabilization method.
Results: The results of our study revealed that atorvastatin and rosuvastatin showed effective in vitro(500mcg/ml) anti-inflammatory activity when compared with the standard drug diclofenac.

Conclusion: The rosuvastatin was more potent anti-inflamatory drug when compared with atorvastatin.

Keywords: Atorvastatin, Rosuvastatin, Membrane stabilizing, Anti-inflammatory

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A. J. Sivaram, Rajitha Panonnummal, Maya, S., Dr. Jayakumar Rangasamy, and Dr. Sabitha M., “Nanogels for Delivery, Imaging and Therapy”, Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology, 2015.[Abstract]

Nanogels are hydrogels having size in nanoregime, which is composed of cross-linked polymer networks. The advantages of nanogels include stimuli-responsive nature, easy drug loading, and higher drug-loading capacity, physical stability, versatility in design, stability of entrapped drug, and controlled release of the anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, protein, peptide and anticancer drugs. Stimuli-responsive nature of nanogel is of particular importance in anticancer and anti-inflammatory drug delivery, as cancer and inflammation are associated with acidic pH, heat generation, and change in ionic content. Nanogels composed of muco-adhesive polymers provide prolonged residence time and increase the ocular availability of loaded drugs. By forming suitably sized complex with proteins or by acting as artificial chaperones, they thus help to keep the proteins and enzymes in proper confirmation necessary for exerting biological activity; nanogels can increase the stability and activity of protein/peptide drugs. Better drug penetrations achieved by prolonged contact with skin contribute much in transdermal drug delivery. When it comes to cancer drug delivery, the presence of multiple interactive functional groups in nanogels different targeting agents can be conjugated for delivery of the selective drugs. This review focuses on applications of nanogels in cancer drug delivery and imaging, anti-inflammatory, anti-psoriatic, transdermal, ocular and protein/peptide drug delivery and therapy.

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Rajitha Panonnummal and Varkey, J., “Statins induced nephrotoxicity: a dose dependent study in albino rats”, Interntional journal of Pharmacy and pharmaceutical Sciences, vol. 6, no. 11, pp. 401-406, 2014.[Abstract]

Objective: The objective of the study was to evaluate the dose dependent effects of atorvastatin on rat kidneys.
Methods: The selected doses of atorvastatin were administered orally for 17 days to rats. The statin induced nephrotoxicity was accessed by carrying out renal function tests and is by renal histopathology analysis. Measurements of antioxidant enzymes were also carried out to check whether atorvastatin at the selected dose level interfere with any of the antioxidant system. Atorvastatin at three doses 5mg/kg, 10mg/kg and 20mg/kg was tested.
Results: Higher doses of atorvastatin exhibits considerable degree of renal toxicity in rats, while the low doses do not interfere with renal functions in rats. Atorvastatin at all the tested dose levels not interfere with cellular anti-oxidant mechanisms.
Conclusions: Atorvastatin at 20mg/kg exhibit significant toxicity on rat kidneys. Atorvastatin at the selected dose level does not interfere with any of the antioxidant mechanisms. It indicated that atorvastatin not cause oxidative stress induced renal damage and rhabdomyolysis may be the reason for renal damage induced by atorvastatin at the high dose level.
Atorvastatin, Nephrotoxicity, Oxidative stress

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Rajitha Panonnummal, Varkey, Jb, and Dinoop, D. Rc, “Are statins nephroprotective?:A dose dependent study in albino rats”, International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, vol. 5, pp. 182-190, 2013.[Abstract]

Purpose:The purpose of the study was to evaluate the dose dependent effects of atorvastatin against vancomycin induced renal damage. Methods:Nephrotoxicity was induced by vancomycin administration at a dose of 200mg/kg twice daily for 7 days. Nephrotoxicity was determined by carrying out renal function tests and is confirmed by renal histopathology. Measurements of antioxidant enzymes were also carried out to determine vancomycin induced alterations in cellular antioxidant status. Atorvastatin at three doses 5mg/kg,10mg/kg and 20mg/kg was tested for protective effect against renal damage induced by vancomycin due to its antioxidant mechanisms. Results:Higher doses of atorvastatin exhibits considerable degree of antioxidant activity and atorvastatin at 10mg/kg provided significant degree of protection. But low dose of atorvastatin was insufficient to provide a protective effect due to inability to restore the altered antioxidant status. Conclusions:Atorvastatin at 10mg/kg exhibit significant antioxidant activity and provide optimum level of protection against Vancomycin induced renal damage. But at 5mg/kg it does not show significant antioxidant effect sufficient to provide a protective effect. Atorvastatin at 20mg/kg showed effective antioxidant action but it failed to provide a protective effect in renal damage,may be due to its direct toxic effect on rat kidney.

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Rajitha Panonnummal, Varkey, J., and D.R, D., “Protective effect of atorvastatin against vancomycin induced nephrotoxicity in albino rats”, Pharmacie Globale (IJCP) , vol. 8, no. 10, pp. 1-6 , 2011.