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2.  Polymorphisms in cytochrome P450 2C19 enzyme and cessation of leflunomide in patients with rheumatoid arthritis 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2012;14(4):R163.
Rational selection of disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has many potential advantages, including rapid disease control, reduced long-term disability and reduced overall cost to the healthcare system. Inter-individual genetic differences are particularly attractive as markers to predict efficacy and toxicity, as they can be determined rapidly prior to drug selection. The aims of this study, therefore, were to investigate the association between differences in genes associated with the metabolism, clearance and efficacy of leflunomide with its cessation in a group of rheumatoid arthritis patients who were treated with an intensive contemporary, treat-to-target approach.
This retrospective cohort study identified all individuals who received leflunomide and were enrolled in the Early Arthritis inception cohort at the Royal Adelaide Hospital between 2001 and July 2011. Inclusion criteria were age (>18) and a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. Patients were excluded if a DNA sample was not available, if they withdrew from the cohort or if clinical data were insufficient. Subjects were followed for 12 months or until either another disease modifying antirheumatic drug was added or leflunomide was ceased. The following single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were determined: CYP2C19*2 (rs4244285), CYP2C19*17 (rs12248560), ABCG2 421C>A (rs2231142), CYP1A2*1F (rs762551) and DHODH 19C>A (rs3213422). The effects of variables on cessation were assessed with Cox Proportional Hazard models.
Thirty-three of 78 (42.3%) patients ceased leflunomide due to side effects. A linear trend between cytochrome P450 2C19 (CYP2C19) phenotype and leflunomide cessation was observed, with poor and intermediate metabolizers ceasing more frequently (adjusted Hazard Ratio = 0.432 for each incremental change in phenotype, 95% CI 0.237 to 0.790, P = 0.006). Previously observed associations between cytochrome P450 1A2 (CYP1A2) and dihydro-orotate dehydrogenase (DHODH) genotype and toxicity were not apparent, but there was a trend for ATP-binding cassette sub-family G member 2 (ABCG2) genotype to be associated with cessation due to diarrhea.
CYP2C19 phenotype was associated with cessation due to toxicity, and since CYP2C19 intermediate and poor metabolizers have lower teriflunomide concentrations, it is likely that they have a particularly poor risk:benefit ratio when using this drug.
PMCID: PMC3580556  PMID: 22784880
3.  Adherence to medication for the treatment of psychosis: rates and risk factors in an Ethiopian population 
Medication-taking behavior, specifically non-adherence, is significantly associated with treatment outcome and is a major cause of relapse in the treatment of psychotic disorders. Non-adherence can be multifactorial; however, the rates and associated risk factors in an Ethiopian population have not yet been elucidated. The principal aim of this study was to evaluate adherence rates to antipsychotic medications, and secondarily to identify potential factors associated with non-adherence, among psychotic patients at tertiary care teaching hospital in Southwest Ethiopia.
A cross-sectional study was conducted over a 2-month period in 2009 (January 15th to March 20th) at the Jimma University Specialized Hospital. Adherence was computed using both a compliant fill rate method and self-reporting via a structured patient interview (focusing on how often regular medication doses were missed altogether, and whether they missed taking their doses on time). Data were analyzed using SPSS for windows version 16.0, and chi-square and Pearsons r tests were used to determine the statistical significance of the association of variables with adherence.
Three hundred thirty six patients were included in the study. A total of 75.6% were diagnosed with schizophrenia, while the others were diagnosed with other psychotic disorders. Most (88.1%) patients were taking only antipsychotics, while the remainder took more than one medication. Based upon the compliant fill rate, 57.5% of prescription fills were considered compliant, but only 19.6% of participants had compliant fills for all of their prescriptions. In contrast, on the basis of patients self-report, 52.1% of patients reported that they had never missed a medication dose, 32.0% sometimes missed their daily doses, 22.0% only missed taking their dose at the specific scheduled time, and 5.9% missed both taking their dose at the specific scheduled time and sometimes missed their daily doses. The most common reasons provided for missing medication doses were: forgetfulness (36.2%); being busy (21.0%); and a lack of sufficient information about the medication (10.0%). Pill burden, medication side-effects, social drug use, and duration of maintenance therapy each had a statistically significant association with medication adherence (P ≤ 0.05).
The observed rate of antipsychotic medication adherence in this study was low, and depending upon the definition used to determine adherence, it is either consistent or low compared to previous reports, which highlights its pervasive and problematic nature. Adherence must therefore be considered when planning treatment strategies with antipsychotic medications, particularly in countries such as Ethiopia.
PMCID: PMC3416691  PMID: 22709356
Medication adherence; Antipsychotic; Compliant fill rate; Jimma
4.  Using Time-Resolved Fluorescence to Measure Serum Venom-Specific IgE and IgG 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(1):e16741.
We adapted DELFIA™ (dissociation-enhanced lanthanide fluoroimmunoassay), a time resolved fluorescence method, to quantitate whole venom specific and allergenic peptide-specific IgE (sIgE), sIgG1 and sIgG4 in serum from people clinically allergic to Australian native ant venoms, of which the predominant cause of allergy is jack jumper ant venom (JJAV). Intra-assay CV was 6.3% and inter-assay CV was 13.7% for JJAV sIgE. DELFIA and Phadia CAP JJAV sIgE results correlated well and had similar sensitivity and specificity for the detection of JJAV sIgE against intradermal skin testing as the gold standard. DELFIA was easily adapted for detecting sIgE to a panel of other native ant venoms.
PMCID: PMC3031629  PMID: 21304970

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