Their report in ACS' journal Molecular Pharmaceutics describes laboratory experiments in which alcohol made several medications up to three times more available to the body, effectively tripling the original dose.
Christel Bergström and colleagues explain that beverage alcohol, or ethanol, can cause an increase in the amount of non-prescription and prescription drugs that are "available" to the body after taking a specific dose. Alcohol can change how enzymes and other substances in the body interact with many of the 5,000 such medications on the market. Some of these medications don't dissolve well in the gastrointestinal tract — especially in the stomach and intestines.
The researchers sought to test whether ethanol made these drugs dissolve more easily. If so, this would make the drugs more available in the body, possibly intensifying their effects when combined with alcohol.
To find out, the scientists used a simulated environment of the small intestine to test how rapidly medications dissolved when alcohol was and was not present. Almost 60 percent of the 22 medications in their tests dissolved much faster in the presence of alcohol. In addition, they found that certain types of substances, such as those that were acidic, were more affected. Some common acidic drugs include warfarin, the anticoagulant; Tamoxifen, used to treat certain forms of cancer; and naproxen, which relieves pain and inflammation.
The authors acknowledge funding from the Swedish Research Council, the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems and the Medical Products Agency - Sweden.
The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 164,000 members, ACS is the world's largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.
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Michael Bernstein | EurekAlert!
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The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
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Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
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Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
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The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
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