Research is an integral component of pharmacy education. Considering this, much emphasis is given for research right from the undergraduate level.

Research programs are focused on a wide range of areas including drug discovery, novel drug delivery systems, toxicology/ pharmacology, analytical method development, preclinical and herbal research,research on therapeutics, optimization of dosage regimen in healthcare delivery, pharmacokinetic evaluation, etc.

Quality, innovative and value based research is much encouraged and the school has started taking heights in research achievements.

It is what distinguishes us from similar schools and what equip our students for leading - edge positions on the rapidly changing healthcare frontier.

Rsearch Activities (Ongoing Research Projects)

  1. Brain targeting of an antiepileptic drug via intranasal nano structured lipid carriers

    It is a project funded by DST-Nanomission . The duration of the project is 3 years . Dr. Sabitha M, Principal , Amrita School of Pharmacy is the Principal investigator and Dr. R. Jayakumar , Professor, Centre for Nanosciences. Epilepsy is a brain disorder characterized by an enduring predisposition to generate epileptic seizures and by neurobiologic, cognitive, psychological and social consequences of this condition. The first line drug phenytoin sodium by intranasal route using nanodrug delivery approaches seems to be promising for controlling acute epileptic seizure. Phenytoin sodium loaded NLCs developed by melt emulsification -ultrasonication method using cholesterol as solid lipid, oleic acid as liquid lipid and poloxamer 188 as the polymer will be evaluated for is efficacy in brain delivery via. Intranasal route.

  2. Effects of large cardamon extracts on experimental models of hypertension and endothelium function.

    The Department of Pharmacology has a project funded by The Spices Board of India. Dr. P. Uma Devi is the principal investigator while Mr. Jipnomon Joseph and Mr. S K Kanthlal are the co-investigators. The project aims to study the effects of spices on different experimental models of hypertension and to elucidate the probable mechanisms for the observed effects.

    Hypertension is a chronic medical condition associated with vascular endothelial dysfunction. Impaired endothelial function has been observed in metabolic syndrome like obesity and diabetes. Hyperglycemia induces mitochondrial reactive oxygen species production in response to insulin resistance and cause endothelial dysfunction by disrupting nitric oxide production. Spices have been used traditionally for various ailments. Dietary supplementation with spices has been reported to produce beneficial effects in patients with cardiovascular diseases.

Areas of Research

Student Projects

Publications

Year of Publication Publication Type Title

2019

Journal Article

A. Asok, Sreekumar, S., Tk, R., Cc, A., Dr. Umadevi P., and Dr. Pavithran K., “Effectiveness of zolpidem and sleep hygiene counseling in the treatment of insomnia in solid tumor patients.”, J Oncol Pharm Pract, vol. 25, no. 7, pp. 1608-1612, 2019.[Abstract]


Objective: To study the effectiveness of zolpidem and sleep hygiene counseling in managing insomnia in solid tumor patients.
Methods: Cancer patients with a Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index score ≥ 5 were grouped into two. Both groups received treatment for insomnia in the form of either zolpidem 5 mg for 7 days or sleep hygiene counseling.
Result: At baseline, zolpidem and counseling group had a mean Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index score of 14.82 ± 2.61 and 11.67 ± 3.32, respectively. The difference in mean Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index score was found to be 4.03 in patients using zolpidem and 1.5 in counseled patients (p = 0.003). The components of Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index namely difficulty falling asleep within 30 min (sleep latency), overall sleep quality, trouble staying awake during daytime and trouble staying motivated to get things done showed statistically significant improvement after treatment with zolpidem. Following sleep hygiene counseling, the proportion of patients with sleep latency > 30 min reduced considerably. Waking up to use the bathroom was the most common problem reported by approximately 94% patients in both groups before treatment which remained the most prevalent problem even after treatment. Night or early morning awakenings seemed to decrease significantly in patients taking zolpidem (p = 0.039) while it did not show any improvement with counseling. Counseling seemed to get patients to sleep within 30 min.
Conclusion: Patients on zolpidem showed a reduction in their Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index scores thereby suggesting it as a treatment for insomnia in solid tumor patients. Sleep hygiene counseling, though not as effective as zolpidem, made a slight difference in the overall sleep.

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2019

Journal Article

A. Benny and Thomas, J., “Essential Oils as Treatment Strategy for Alzheimer's Disease: Current and Future Perspectives.”, Planta Med, vol. 85, no. 3, pp. 239-248, 2019.[Abstract]


Alzheimer's disease is a multifarious neurodegenerative disease that causes cognitive impairment and gradual memory loss. Several hypotheses have been put forward to postulate its pathophysiology. Currently, few drugs are available for the management of Alzheimer's disease and the treatment provides only symptomatic relief. Our aim is to review the relevant , and clinical studies focused toward the potential uses of essential oils in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Scientific databases such as PubMed, ScienceDirect, Scopus, and Google Scholar from April 1998 to June 2018 were explored to collect data. We have conducted wide search on various essential oils used in different models of Alzheimer's disease. Out of 55 essential oils identified for Alzheimer's intervention, 28 have been included in the present review. A short description of studies of 13 essential oils together with clinical trial data of , and have been highlighted. studies of remaining essential oils that possess antioxidant and anticholinesterase potential are also mentioned. Our literary survey revealed encouraging results regarding the various essential oils being studied in preclinical and clinical studies of Alzheimer's disease with significant effects in modulating the pathology through anti-amyloid, antioxidants, anticholinesterase, and memory-enhancement activity.

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2019

Journal Article

H. Upadya, Prabhu, S., Prasad, A., Subramanian, D., Gupta, S., and Goel, A., “A randomized, double blind, placebo controlled, multicenter clinical trial to assess the efficacy and safety of Emblica officinalis extract in patients with dyslipidemia.”, BMC Complement Altern Med, vol. 19, no. 1, p. 27, 2019.[Abstract]


BACKGROUND: Dyslipidemia is one of the most frequently implicated risk factors for development of atherosclerosis. This study evaluated the efficacy of amla (Emblica officinalis) extract (composed of polyphenols, triterpenoids, oils etc. as found in the fresh wild amla fruit) in patients with dyslipidemia.

METHODS: A total of 98 dyslipidemic patients were enrolled and divided into amla and placebo groups. Amla extract (500 mg) or a matching placebo capsule was administered twice daily for 12 weeks to the respective group of patients. The patients were followed up for 12 weeks and efficacy of study medication was assessed by analyzing lipid profile. Other parameters evaluated were apolipoprotein B (Apo B), apolipoprotein A1 (Apo A1), Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), high-sensitive C-reactive protein (hsCRP), fasting blood sugar (FBS), homocysteine and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH).

RESULTS: In 12 weeks, the major lipids such as total cholesterol (TC) (p = 0.0003), triglyceride (TG) (p = 0.0003), low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) (p = 0.0064) and very low density lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDL-C) (p = 0.0001) were significantly lower in amla group as compared to placebo group. Additionally, a 39% reduction in atherogenic index of the plasma (AIP) (p = 0.0177) was also noted in amla group. The ratio of Apo B to Apo A1 was reduced more (p = 0.0866) in the amla group as compared to the placebo. There was no significant change in CoQ10 level of amla (p = 0.2942) or placebo groups (p = 0.6744). Although there was a general trend of FBS reduction, the numbers of participants who may be classified as pre-diabetes and diabetes groups (FBS > 100 mg/dl) in the amla group were only 8. These results show that the amla extract used in the study is potentially a hypoglycaemic as well. However, this needs reconfirmation in a larger study.

CONCLUSIONS: The Amla extract has shown significant potential in reducing TC and TG levels as well as lipid ratios, AIP and apoB/apo A-I in dyslipidemic persons and thus has scope to treat general as well as diabetic dyslipidemia. A single agent to reduce cholesterol as well as TG is rare. Cholesterol reduction is achieved without concomitant reduction of Co Q10, in contrast to what is observed with statins.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Registered with Clinical Trials Registry- India at www.ctri.nic.in (Registration number: CTRI/2015/04/005682 ) on 8 April 2015 (retrospectively registered).

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2019

Journal Article

D. S. Raju, Sugunan, A., Keechilattu, P., Philip, A., and Reghu, R., “Chemoport-related Fungemia Caused by Trichosporon asahii.”, J Pediatr Hematol Oncol, 2019.[Abstract]


Trichosporon asahii is a rare opportunistic fungal pathogen that causes fatal systemic infection in immunocompromised patients. Neutropenia developing due to malignancies is an important risk factor for fungal infection. Invasive infections due to T. asahii can be divided into disseminated and localized forms. The disseminated form is more common and usually occurs in neutropenic patients. The patient typically has an acute febrile illness that progresses rapidly to multiorgan failure. Here, we are presenting a case of fungal sepsis by invasive T. asahii in a 1-year-old child with Wilms Tumor. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that fungal sepsis due to T. asahii has been reported in a Wilms tumor patient. The incidence of rare invasive fungal infections is increasing in immunocompromised patients in whom management becomes difficult due to their heterogenous antifungal susceptibility pattern and intrinsic resistance to the standard antifungal agents that are routinely given. The patient was admitted with high spiking fever, and his laboratory investigations suggested neutropenia. T. asahii was isolated from the blood culture, for which he was started on inj. voriconozole. After 14 days of treatment, the fungus was cleared out from the patient's blood.

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2019

Journal Article

D. S. Raju, Sugunan, A., Keechilattu, P., Philip, A., and Reghu, R., “Chemoport-related Fungemia Caused by Trichosporon asahii”, Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, 2019.[Abstract]


Trichosporon asahii is a rare opportunistic fungal pathogen that causes fatal systemic infection in immunocompromised patients. Neutropenia developing due to malignancies is an important risk factor for fungal infection. Invasive infections due to T. asahii can be divided into disseminated and localized forms. The disseminated form is more common and usually occurs in neutropenic patients. The patient typically has an acute febrile illness that progresses rapidly to multiorgan failure. Here, we are presenting a case of fungal sepsis by invasive T. asahii in a 1-year-old child with Wilms Tumor. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that fungal sepsis due to T. asahii has been reported in a Wilms tumor patient. The incidence of rare invasive fungal infections is increasing in immunocompromised patients in whom management becomes difficult due to their heterogenous antifungal susceptibility pattern and intrinsic resistance to the standard antifungal agents that are routinely given. The patient was admitted with high spiking fever, and his laboratory investigations suggested neutropenia. T. asahii was isolated from the blood culture, for which he was started on inj. voriconozole. After 14 days of treatment, the fungus was cleared out from the patient's blood. © 2019 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

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2019

Journal Article

E. C. Ninan and James, E., “Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis due to abrus precatorius poisoning – A case report”, Saudi Pharmaceutical Journal, 2019.[Abstract]


Abrus precatorius, commonly known as ‘Rosary pea’ or ‘Jequirity pea’ and known as 'shisham, Batrah-Hindi or Ain Alfreeth’ in the Middle East, grows wild in the tropical and subtropical areas of the world. The seeds of the plant contain one of the most potent toxins known to man. Poisoning with abrus seeds is a rare occurrence as the harder outer coat of the seeds generally resists digestion and such reports are scarce in the literature. We present here a case of a 22 year old lady who developed severe vomiting, diarrhoea and malena at the initial stages and later seizures and acute disseminated encephalomyelitis due to deliberate chewing and swallowing of abrus seeds. She was rescued with several sessions of membrane plasmapheresis and supportive care. The neuropathological process of acute disseminated encephalomyelitis due to abrus poisoning was reversed by plasmapheresis. © 2019 The Authors

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2019

Journal Article

J. Mariam Joshua, Meenu Vijayan, and Kumar, Gb, “A retrospective analysis of patients treated with intravesical BCG for high-risk nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer.”, Ther Adv Urol, vol. 11, p. 1756287219833056, 2019.[Abstract]


<p><b>Background: </b>Adjuvant intravesical immunotherapy with Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) is considered as the first-line agent in patients with high-risk nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) after surgery. There are no data in India where there is a high prevalence of tubercle bacillus and inherent immunity against sp. The present study aims to evaluate the outcomes of intravesical BCG in the Indian population.</p>

<p><b>Methods: </b>A retrospective study of 101 patients who underwent intravesical BCG for high-risk NMIBC between January 2006 and December 2015 was carried out in a single centre. We compared the recurrence-free rate and progression rate of patients who received induction alone and induction with maintenance BCG therapy. The safety profile of intravesical BCG therapy was also assessed in the study.</p>

<p><b>Results: </b>After a median follow up of 2 years, the disease-free survival (DFS) rates of the induction group and maintenance group were 82% and 88% respectively ( = 0.233). There was no difference in progression-free survival (PFS) rates at 2 years in those who receive maintenance BCG (95%) and those with induction BCG (94.7%; = 0.721). A total of 69.36% of our patients had local adverse events.</p>

<p><b>Conclusion: </b>Our results suggest that maintenance therapy does not enhance the therapeutic effects of BCG in patients who respond favourably to 6 weeks of induction. Additional prospective studies are warranted in those countries where tuberculosis exposure is prevalent.</p>

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2019

Journal Article

S. Shajahan, Sasidharan, S. Thottanche, Surendran, S., Shenoy, V., and Dr. Umadevi P., “Lessons Learnt from Living Donor Liver Transplantation with ABO-incompatibility: A Single-centre Experience from Southern India”, Indian J Gastroenterol, vol. 38, no. 1, pp. 23-28, 2019.[Abstract]


<p><b>BACKGROUND: </b>Although, ABO-incompatible (ABOi) liver transplantation is considered a high-risk procedure, using newer and more effective preoperative B cell desensitisation techniques, many transplant centres are routinely performing ABOi living donor liver transplantation (LDLT).</p>

<p><b>METHODS: </b>This was a retrospective study of 12 patients (adult:pediatric = 10:2; M:F = 9:3; median age, 45.5&nbsp;years [range 1 to 56&nbsp;years]) who underwent ABOi LDLT at a tertiary care centre.</p>

<p><b>RESULTS: </b>The median model for end-stage liver disease (MELD)/pediatric end-stage liver disease (PELD) scores were 28 (range 18 to 35) and 30.5 (range 24 to 37), respectively. For desensitisation, we initially used two doses of rituximab and two sessions of plasmapheresis preoperatively. We faced high mortality in the initial seven patients (five deaths) due to overwhelming sepsis from multidrug-resistant (MDR) pathogens. Subsequently, we restricted the rituximab to one dose and performed plasmapheresis only when isoagglutinin titre value was more than 1:64. With this regimen, out of the last five patients, four did well. For the whole cohort, the incidence of antibody-mediated rejection, acute cellular rejection, biliary complications, hepatic artery thrombosis, infection, and 5-year patient survival were 16.7%, 16.7%, 16.7%, 8.3%, 75%, and 40%, respectively. The risk factors for mortality were high MELD score, O blood group, and more intense desensitisation protocol.</p>

<p><b>CONCLUSIONS: </b>Careful selection of patients and less intense desensitisation protocol are probably important in improving the outcomes in ABOi LDLT.</p>

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2019

Journal Article

V. Simon, Sreerag, K. V., Sasikumar, R., and S.K. Kanthlal, “In Vitro Protective Effect of Ascorbic Acid Against Antibiotic-Induced Hepatotoxicity”, Curr Drug Discov Technol, 2019.[Abstract]


BACKGROUND: Although antibiotic-induced hepatotoxicity is recoverable with mild impairment, and few of them were reported to cause morbidity. Hence, an adjuvant is essential in reducing such incidences.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study to evaluate the protective effect of ascorbic acid on antibiotic induced liver toxicity using liver slices.

METHOD: Fresh liver slices collected from leghorn chicken were incubated with different concentrations of sulfamethoxazole tetracycline and clavulanic acid along with ascorbic acid (200μg/ml) for 2 hours. The liver homogenate was assessed for markers like ALT, AST, MDA and CAT levels. Cytotoxicity assessment was performed using MTT assay.

RESULTS: Incubating liver slices with all three antibiotics shows elevated levels of aminotransferases, MDA and CAT enzyme when compared to the control groups which indicates the level of hepatotoxicity. In presence of ascorbic acid, the elevated levels of TBARS, ALT and AST were significantly reduced which showcases the protective effect of ascorbic acid. The percentage survival of cell was also shown to have improved while accessed using cell viability assay.

CONCLUSION: Obtained data suggests that consumption of vitamin C or vitamin C rich food like citrus fruits or green leafy vegetables equivalent to 3g/day during antibiotic treatment, perhaps put down the risk of liver toxicity to a greater extent.

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2018

Journal Article

R. Panonnummal and Sabitha, M., “Anti-psoriatic and toxicity evaluation of methotrexate loaded chitin nanogel in imiquimod induced mice model.”, Int J Biol Macromol, vol. 110, pp. 245-258, 2018.[Abstract]


<p>Methotrexate loaded chitin nanogel (MCNG) was formulated for its topical use in psoriasis. MCNG was characterized by DLS, TEM and FTIR. The MCNG particles were spherical in shape with size of 196±14nm, having surface charge of +9.21±0.42 mv. MCNG exhibited greater swelling and drug release at acidic pH than neutral and alkaline conditions. The treatment with MCNG showed significant level of toxicity on HaCaT and THP-1 cells and was taken up well by HaCaT cells as revealed by fluorescent microscopy. MCNGs exhibited significant anti-inflammatory activity as revealed by the inhibitory effects observed on the activity of COX-2 and LOX-5 enzymes expressed in THP-1 cells. Skin permeation studies revealed an increased trasdermal flux of methotrexate from MCNG with loosened stratum corneum and other epidermal layers of skin in comparison with control methotrexate solution treated samples. Significant anti-psoriatic efficacy on imiquimod (IMQ) induced model of psoriasis without any dermal and systemic toxicities suggest that it as an ideal delivery platform for topical delivery of methotrexate in psoriasis. Thus it is expected to become a better alternative for the oral delivery of methotrexate in the selected disease.</p>

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