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1.  How Resistant to Tampering are Codeine Containing Analgesics on the Market? Assessing the Potential for Opioid Extraction 
Pain and Therapy  2016;5(2):187-201.
Misuse of opioid analgesics, in combination with diversion, dependence, and fatal overdoses, presents a serious problem for public health, which affects many countries worldwide. Within this context, tampering with opioids has been associated with serious harm. The aim of the present study was to assess the tampering potential of codeine combination analgesics on the market (containing codeine/non-opioid analgesics) by the extraction of codeine.
Codeine was extracted from three combination formulations sold lawfully from licensed pharmacies without a medical prescription in Denmark and the UK. Extraction of codeine followed tampering procedures available on the Internet. The amounts of codeine and accompanying non-opioid analgesics in tampering products were analysed with liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS).
LC–MS/MS showed recoveries of the total amounts of codeine in tampering products of 81–84% from Product 1 (codeine/acetylsalicylic acid); 61–67% from Product 2 (codeine/ibuprofen); and 42–71% from Product 3 (codeine/paracetamol). Recoveries of non-opioid analgesics ranged between: 57–73% acetylsalicylic acid; 5.5–8.5% ibuprofen, and 5.0–9.2% paracetamol.
With the tampering procedures used, high amounts of codeine were separated from the accompanying analgesics in some, but not in all of the codeine containing formulations. Evidence-based medicine regulation, treatment for opioid dependence, and information to minimise risks to the public are essential components of an effective public health strategy to address the harms of tampering and misuse.
Marie Pedersen and Jensine Heiberg Foundation.
PMCID: PMC5130903  PMID: 27295264
Analgesics; Codeine; Internet; Opioids; Risk assessment; Tampering
2.  NT-proBNP, C-Reactive Protein and Soluble uPAR in a Bi-Ethnic Male Population: The SAfrEIC Study 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(3):e58506.
Objective and design
This cross-sectional study aimed to investigate associations between a marker of cardiac strain, the N-terminal prohormone B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), and inflammation as reflected by either a conventional or novel inflammatory marker in a bi-ethnic South African cohort.
Methods and subjects
We measured NT-proBNP, C-reactive protein (CRP) and plasma-soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) levels along with conventional biomarkers in black (n = 117) and white (n = 116) men.
NT-proBNP, CRP and suPAR levels were higher in black compared to white men. NT-proBNP was significantly associated with both CRP (r = 0.38; p = 0.001) and suPAR (r = 0.42; p<0.001) in black men only. After full adjustment in multiple regression analyses, the above associations of NT-proBNP with CRP (β = 0.199; p = 0.018) and suPAR (β = 0.257; p<0.01) were confirmed in black men.
These results suggest that a low-grade inflammatory state as reflected by both a conventional and novel marker of inflammation may contribute to higher cardiovascular risk as reflected by the associations obtained with a marker of cardiac strain in black South African men.
PMCID: PMC3596271  PMID: 23516493
3.  Autologous Blood Transfusion after Local Infiltration Analgesia with Ropivacaine in Total Knee and Hip Arthroplasty 
Aims. To study the safety of autotransfusion following local infiltration analgesia (LIA) with ropivacaine. Background. Knowledge of blood concentrations of ropivacaine after LIA and autotransfusion is crucial. However, very limited data are available for toxicological risk assessment. Methods. Autotransfusion was studied in patients after total knee arthroplasty (TKA: n = 25) and total hip arthroplasty (THA: n = 27) with LIA using 200 mg ropivacaine, supplemented with two postoperative bolus injections (150 mg ropivacaine). Drainage blood was reinfused within 6 h postoperatively. Results. Reinfusion caused a significant increase in the serum concentration of total ropivacaine for TKA from 0.54 ± 0.17 (mean ± SD) to 0.79 ± 0.20 μg/mL (P < 0.001) and a nonsignificant increase for THA from 0.62 ± 0.17 to 0.63 ± 0.18 μg/mL. The maximum free (unbound) concentration after reinfusion was 0.038 μg/mL. Peak total and free venous ropivacaine concentrations after 8 h and 16 h postoperative bolus injections were 2.6 μg/mL and 0.11 μg/mL, respectively. All concentrations observed were below the threshold for toxicity and no side effects were observed. Conclusion. Autotransfusion of patients undergoing knee or hip arthroplasty after local infiltration analgesia with 200 mg ropivacaine can be performed safely, even supplemented with 8 h and 16 h postoperative bolus injections.
PMCID: PMC3420087  PMID: 22919377

Results 1-3 (3)