Volume 8, Issue 1

  • 2022, January

    original research

    First Year Student Pharmacists’ Views on the Opioid EpidemicOpen Access

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    Abstract [+]

    Objective
    To determine first-year student pharmacists’ views on the opioid epidemic.
    Methods
    First-year pharmacy students were asked to complete an online survey to assess their views and opinions on the current opioid crisis using Likert-scale type questions.
    Results
    Forty-four pharmacy students were surveyed, and all participants completed survey questions, 100% response rate. Majority of participants were female (N=34, 77.3%), with more than half of participants falling in the age range of 18-24 (N=25, 56.8%). Geographically, most of the participants home residences are in other states out of the DC, Maryland, Virginia (N=25, 56.9%). In addition, majority of participants worked before starting pharmacy school (N=42, 95.5%) and a majority had a pharmacy and health related occupations before pharmacy school (N=36; 81.9%). Most study participants reported an annual income of less than $10,000 (N=17, 38.6%) and obtained a bachelor’s degree (N=26, 59.1%). Majority of participants strongly agree that the opioid epidemic is becoming a severe crisis for society (N=42; 95.5%) and that opioid should be readily available when it is medically necessary to people (N=27; 61.4%). When asked if they know anyone personally who suffers from the opioid crisis, over three-quarter (N=34; 77.3%) said no. However, over two-third (N=29; 65.9%) of participants said that they have taken opioids in the past themselves to relieve pain. Although, almost all of them strongly agree that prescription opioids are addictive (N=42; 95.5.%); about eighty percent (N=35; 79.5%) agree that taking opioids is an effective way to alleviate severe pain.
    Conclusion
    Our results indicate that pharmacy students perceive the opioid epidemic as a crisis and despite their views that opioids are addictive and knowing someone who suffers from opioid use disorder, they believe opioids are a clinically effective way to alleviate pain.
    Keywords
    Survey; Opioids; Epidemic; Students; Pharmacy.


  • 2022, March

    original research

    Lycopene for Hypertension and Factors Affecting Its Use: A Survey of Pharmacy StudentsOpen Access

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    Abstract [+]

    Purpose
    To better understand and assess the potential obstacles to the adoption of lycopene for treating high blood pressure.
    Methods
    A cross-sectional observational study was conducted by administering a survey to 42 Howard University College of Pharmacy students. Descriptive statistics and risk estimates were calculated using statistical package for social studies (SPSS) software.
    Results
    Only 33.3% of students had ever heard of lycopene, and lycopene knowledge score was poor among 88% of respondents. Non-D.C. residence, dietary supplement use and the belief that dietary supplements such as lycopene interact with prescription drugs and should be used cautiously, were all correlated with a lesser risk of having poor lycopene knowledge. Annual income >$40,000 was correlated with a greater risk of being in the poor lycopene knowledge group. Despite this data, 59.5% report that will incorporate more lycopene into their diet.
    Conclusion
    Lycopene knowledge is generally poor among the observed cohort; however, this does not seem to be a great obstacle in the path of adoption.
    Keywords
    Lycopene; Dietary supplement; Hypertension; Cardiovascular.


  • 2022, March

    editorial

    Dual Action Mechanism of Insulin Resistance and Insulin Secretion by Imeglimin for Diabetic TreatmentOpen Access

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    Abstract [+]

    Imeglimin (Twymeeg) is novel oral hypoglycemic agent (OHA) developed in the glimin category. It has dual action mechanisms of reducing insulin resistance and increasing insulin secretion. Trials of imeglimin for efficacy and safety 1 (TIMES 1), TIMES 2 and TIMES 3 were performed with significant clinical efficacy. Among them, HbA1c decrease for 52 weeks showed single imeglimin -0.46%, combined therapy of dipeptidyl peptidase-4i (DPP-4i)-0.92%, Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RA)-0.12% and insulin -0.63%. From physiological and pharmacological points of view, the mechanism may include the enhancement action of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS). For GSIS progress, transient receptor potential melastatin 2 (TRPM2) channel is activated.
    Keywords
    Imeglimin; Twymeeg; Trials of imeglimin for efficacy and safety 2 (TIMES 2); Glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS); Transient receptor potential melastatin 2 (TRPM2) channel.


  • 2022, March

    case report

    Improved Insulin Resistance and Glucose Variability by Super-Low Carbohydrate DietOpen Access

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    Abstract [+]

    Background
    Diabetes mellitus (DM) has been more prevalent. American Diabetes Association (ADA) proposed the Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes-2022. For nutritional therapy, low carbohydrate diet (LCD) has been recognized for its benefits. Authors have continued diabetic research concerning LCD and meal tolerance test (MTT).
    Case Presentation
    The case is 61-year-old male with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) for years. His hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) increased to 7.8% in autumn 2021, and further evaluation and treatment was conducted including LCD, daily check of meal and carbohydrate amount, 75 g OGTT, glucagon stimulation test (GST) and others.
    Results
    He was on super-LCD method including 12% of carbohydrate. His carbohydrate intake amount and 45-minutes post-prandial blood glucose showed significant correlation. The results of 75 g OGTT twice in May 2020 and December 2021 showed that similar pattern of glucose and insulin responses and insulinogenic index (IGI). In contrast, they showed decreased fasting immuno-reactive insulin (IRI) and Homeostasis model assessment insulin resistance (HOMA-R). For GST, C-peptide showed normal response.
    Discussion and Conclusion
    Judging from the results of MTT, OGTT, GST and IGI, he seems to show rather decreased insulin resistance by LCD associated with preserved insulin secretion ability to some degree. Further investigation would be required from pathophysiological point of view.
    Keywords
    Super-low carbohydrate diet (LCD); Meal tolerance test (MTT); Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM); Insulinogenic index (IGI); Glucagon stimulation test (GST); Homeostasis model assessment insulin resistance (HOMA-R).


  • 2022, March

    original research

    Dietary Supplements: A Survey of the Opinion of First-Year Professional Pharmacy StudentsOpen Access

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    Abstract [+]

    Pharmacists need to be at the forefront in advising consumers of dietary supplements (DS) about quality, claims, labeling, safety, efficacy, DS-drug interactions, and other aspects. Yet, the knowledge base of pharmacists and pharmacists-in-training about DS appears to be below expectation.
    Objective
    The goal of the study is to evaluate pharmacy student opinions about DS.
    Methodology
    A survey questionnaire was developed, tested, and distributed among students who were enrolled in the Drug Information class, which is a 2-credit hour mandatory course for all first professional pharmacy students at Howard University, College of Pharmacy. The data was analyzed using SPSS statistical analysis software.
    Results
    A total of 42 students (15 male, 27 female) participated in the survey. Of these, 25 respondents (59.5%) felt comfortable about their knowledge of DS, while only 14 (33.4%) reported participation in counselling (p=0.0281). Most respondents (29; 69%) had used DS in the past, while 21 (50%) claimed they used DS at the time of the survey. To a specific query in the questionnaire regarding lycopene-containing food items, 28 (66.7%) agreed they would use such foods in the future for health benefits. Analysis of the survey data revealed no statistical differences between the responses of male and female students (p>0.05 for all the five questionnaire items).
    Conclusion
    In a survey of 42 pharmacy students at Howard University College Pharmacy, over half (59.5%) felt comfortable about their knowledge of DS. About one-third students (33%) reported they were involved in patient counseling and interaction. Over two-third respondents (69%) took DS in the past, while half were taking DS at the time of the survey.
    Keywords
    Dietary supplements; Knowledge; Counseling; Use; Lycopene.