complication of an infection or injury may result in sepsis.
anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin and ibuprofen are commonly
used drugs for the treatment of pain conditions and arthritis.
- NSAIDs are
caspase inhibitors that could help in the treatment of sepsis.
anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) can be potential new life-saving treatment drugs for sepsis
, finds a study from the
University of Colorado Boulder.
life-threatening complication which occurs as a result of an infection or
‘Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen can be potential new treatment drugs for sepsis.’
According to the
National Institutes of Health, around 1 million people in the United States
have sepsis; this may kill around half of the population with sepsis within few
Due to the increased
number of cases that are rising in intensive care units, pharmaceutical
companies are trying to develop drugs that can combat the condition.
Hang Hubert Yin, a
biochemistry professor at CU Boulder's BioFrontiers Institute and lead author,
said, "NSAIDS like ibuprofen and aspirin are among the most prevalent
pharmaceuticals worldwide, with over 30 billion doses taken annually in the
United States alone. But their precise mechanisms of action are not entirely
"We provide the
first evidence for a novel mechanism of action for NSAIDS, one we believe could
have a direct impact on people's lives."
The research paper was
published in the journal Cell Chemical Biology.
The research team has
far known that the NSAIDs may work by inhibiting an enzyme called
cyclooxygenase (COX). These drugs may be accompanied by side effects; some of
them showed a risk of heart attack or stroke.
The recent research finds
that a subgroup of NSAIDs may act on a family of enzymes called caspases that
may lie deep within the cell and play a key role in aggressive immune responses
Yin, said, "For
instance, some chemicals derived from bacteria actually penetrate the cell and
trigger the caspase response, prompting the cell to commit suicide. This is
also known as apoptosis."
in turn, potentially causes inflammation."
The failure of
late-stage clinical trials on anti-sepsis drugs that can target an immune
receptor which is called the Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) located on the cells
were found to be disappointing.
The research team tried
to find the key to develop an antiseptic therapy which can simultaneously
NSAIDs Effective for
Around 1,280 existing
FDA-approved drugs for caspase-inhibiting activity were screened. Out of the 27
drugs which possessed the caspase-inhibiting activity, half of them were
Eight of the top ten
drugs with caspase-inhibiting activity were found to be NSAIDs.
"It was a complete
surprise," said Yin.
The theory was further
tested using in vitro biochemical and biophysical assays and in vivo
experiments with roundworms.
The scientists were able
to show NSAIDs that were effective in delaying the cell death in worms by
blocking the caspase activity.
Although, it is
questionable to use existing NSAIDs in higher doses for the treatment of
sepsis. The side effects of the drug may be too great, says Yin.
Further, follow-up studies
are being carried out on whether new drugs can be developed by combining
caspase-inhibiting NSAIDS and TLR4 inhibitors.
Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
These drugs are commonly
used for pain conditions and relieve inflammation in adults. They can be
effective for arthritis and other rheumatic conditions as well.
and Diclofenac are some of the common
NSAID drugs that are being used.
People may take NSAIDs
for sprains, headache, and back pain. It is estimated that around 16,500 people
die every year due to NSAID complications.
Side Effects of NSAIDs
- Stomach problems
- High blood
- Kidney problems
- Heart problems
Facts on Sepsis
- Sepsis is
colloquially known as 'blood poisoning.'
- Infections often
- The Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found more than 90% of adults and 70%
of children with sepsis were at a higher risk for another health
- Long-term effects
of sepsis may lead to permanent organ damage; for example kidney damage
can occur to sepsis patients who already have kidney problems.
Prevention of Sepsis
- Take proper
vaccinations against influenza, pneumonia and other infections.
- Maintain good
hygiene, and clean the wounds that cause infections.
- Notice symptoms
and signs of infections at an earlier stage to start early treatment.
- Hang Yin et.al, 'Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory
Drugs Are Caspase Inhibitors' Cell Chemical Biology (2017);DOI Link:
- NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory
drugs) - (http://www.rheumatology.org/I-Am-A/Patient-Caregiver/Treatments/NSAIDs)
anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) - (http://www.nps.org.au/conditions/nervous-system-problems/pain/for-individuals/medicines-treatments-for-pain/nsaids_pain_relievers)
- Sepsis Questions and Answers - (https://www.cdc.gov/sepsis/basic/qa.html)
facts - (http://www.world-sepsis-day.org/?MET=SHOWCONTAINER&vCONTAINERID=11)