About Careers Internship MedBlog Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Antihistamine Could also be used as a Potential Antimalarial Drug

by Medindia Content Team on July 3, 2006 at 9:27 AM
Font : A-A+

Antihistamine Could also be used as a Potential Antimalarial Drug

Researchers have found that astemizole, which is used for treating allergy can also be used as a potential drug for treating malaria.

According to a study conducted by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The study, largely funded by the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute (MRI), determined that in a test tube the antihistamine killed the parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, which causes malaria in humans, including parasite strains that were resistant to traditional malaria therapies. The drug was also shown to be effective in mouse models. The findings are published in the July 2, 2006, advanced online edition of Nature Chemical Biology.

Advertisement

"Time and money are major roadblocks when it comes to developing new drugs for the treatment of neglected diseases like malaria," said senior study author David Sullivan, MD, an associate professor with MRI and the Bloomberg School's W. Harry Feinstone Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology. "Astemizole is promising as an antimalarial, but still needs to be evaluated for effectiveness as an antimalarial in humans."

For the study, Sullivan and colleagues Curtis Chong and Jun Liu of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine's Department of Pharmacology first assembled the Johns Hopkins Clinical Compound Library, which is a collection of 2,687 drugs. Seventy percent of the compounds are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, while the remaining 30 percent are approved by regulatory agencies in other countries. The researchers screened the drugs for their effectiveness in killing the malaria-causing parasite and found that astemizole was one of the more promising.
Advertisement

The researchers then gave astemizole, along with the drug's major human metabolite, desmethylastemizol, to mice infected with Plasmodium. They measured 80 percent reduction in parasite counts with moderate doses of drug in chloroquine-sensitive mice and 40 percent reductions in chloroquine-resistant mice. Higher doses completely eliminated Plasmodium infection.

Astemizole was voluntarily withdrawn from the U.S. and European markets in 1999 after 15 years of use when sales became sluggish after warnings about the drug's safety and the introduction of newer antihistamines. The drug was reported to cause rare, but life-threatening heart arrhythmias when patients took an overdose or with drugs that affected its metabolism. However, arrhythmias are also reported with existing malaria drugs and other antihistamines now sold over the counter. Astemizole is currently still used in 30 countries, including Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam where malaria is endemic.

Human studies are planned to evaluate the effectiveness of astemizole directly in asymptomatic malaria patients, a process that will be accelerated by the fact that the medication has been through an approval process. The researchers hope to next validate this new drug class for use in combination with existing malaria drugs like artemisinin or the quinolines.

The Johns Hopkins Clinical Compound Library will now be available to screen existing drugs for new uses for diseases affecting the developing world. "This line of research can be applied to many neglected diseases," said Chong, the lead author of the study.

(Source: Newswise)
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
What's New on Medindia
Test Your Knowledge About Chromosomes?
Eating During Sunlight Hours Minimizes Mood Vulnerabilities
Know More About the Digestive System
View all
Recommended Reading
News Archive
Date
Category
Advertisement
News Category

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Drug Toxicity Signature Drug Toxicity Multiple Drug Allergy Syndrome 

Most Popular on Medindia

Sanatogen Accident and Trauma Care How to Reduce School Bag Weight - Simple Tips Daily Calorie Requirements Blood - Sugar Chart Turmeric Powder - Health Benefits, Uses & Side Effects Drug - Food Interactions Iron Intake Calculator Drug Interaction Checker Vent Forte (Theophylline)
This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use
×

Antihistamine Could also be used as a Potential Antimalarial Drug Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests