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Mahmoud SH, Shen C. Augmented renal clearance in critical illness: an important consideration in drug dosing. Pharmaceutics. 2017 Sep;9(3):36.

Augmented renal clearance (ARC) is a manifestation of enhanced renal function seen in critically ill patients. The use of regular unadjusted doses of renally eliminated drugs in patients with ARC might lead to therapy failure. The purpose of this scoping review was to provide and up-to-date summary of the available evidence pertaining to the phenomenon of ARC. A literature search of databases of available evidence in humans, with no language restriction, was conducted. Databases searched were MEDLINE (1946 to April 2017), EMBASE (1974 to April 2017) and the Cochrane Library (1999 to April 2017). A total of 57 records were included in the present review: 39 observational studies (25 prospective, 14 retrospective), 6 case reports/series and 12 conference abstracts. ARC has been reported to range from 14–80%. ARC is currently defined as an increased creatinine clearance of greater than 130 mL/min/1.73 m2 best measured by 8–24 h urine collection. Patients exhibiting ARC tend to be younger (<50 years old), of male gender, had a recent history of trauma, and had lower critical illness severity scores. Numerous studies have reported antimicrobials treatment failures when using standard dosing regimens in patients with ARC. In conclusion, ARC is an important phenomenon that might have significant impact on outcome in critically ill patients. Identifying patients at risk, using higher doses of renally eliminated drugs or use of non-renally eliminated alternatives might need to be considered in ICU patients with ARC. More research is needed to solidify dosing recommendations of various drugs in patients with ARC.

Isse FA, Mahmoud SH. Determination of Clobazam and Its Major Metabolite N-desmethylclobazam in Human Plasma with High-Performance Liquid Chromatography. Analytica. 2021 Sep;2(3):57-65.

Clobazam (CLB) is a benzodiazepine that is used in many types of epilepsy. Although therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) of CLB is not routine, there is evidence that TDM may be of value in conditions where pharmacokinetic alterations are suspected. Therefore, determination of both CLB and its active metabolite concentrations is essential for TDM. Herein, we present a simple and practical method for determination of CLB and N-desmethylclobazam (NDMCLB) in human plasma by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The drugs were extracted by hexane:dichloromethane (1:1, v/v) from 0.3 mL plasma. The separation was carried out with a C18 reverse phase column using a mobile phase of water:acetonitrile (57:43, v/v) pumped at 0.8 mL/min. The analytes were detected at 228 nm. The method was linear over the concentration range 20–500 ng/mL for CLB and 200–3000 ng/mL for NDMCLB. The intra-day coefficient of variation (CV) was <10% for CLB and <6% for NDMCLB, while the inter-day CV for CLB was <16%. The metabolite inter-day CV was <6%. The accuracy of intra- and inter-day assessments determined for CLB and NDMCLB was within ±10%. This paper describes a rapid, reliable, and simple method for measuring CLB and its metabolite NDMCLB in human plasma. This UV-HPLC procedure offers acceptable precision and accuracy to quantify CLB and its metabolite in human plasma.

Hayashi M, Hamdy DA, Mahmoud SH. Applications for pharmacogenomics in pharmacy practice: A scoping review. Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy. 2021 Aug 20.

Pharmacogenomics (PGx) can provide valuable pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic information for the pharmacist's assessment of drug therapy, especially within medication therapy management (MTM) services. However, no review has comprehensively mapped the pharmacists' use of PGx in practice-based research. Doing so would allow future researchers, practitioners, and policy-makers to identify the ideal populations and settings for PGx implementation within the pharmacy.

The purpose of this review is to identify the evidence to date of PGx use in pharmacy practice.

A scoping review was conducted to find all studied non-oncologic pharmacy practices incorporating PGx testing. Search terms were applied to 5 databases and relevant journals. Characteristics of patients, pharmacy settings, genetic tests, and outcomes were summarized to determine models most likely to benefit patients.

The search identified 43 studies on the use of PGx by pharmacists published between 2007 and 2020. CYP2C19 testing with antiplatelets was the most studied model, found in both community and institutional settings. It also was the most actionable test: approximately 30% of patients have polymorphisms indicating a need for alternative antiplatelets, and identifying these patients can reduce morbidity and mortality by more than 50%. As technology shifts, broader studies using multi-gene panel tests within MTM demonstrate an approximate 50% decrease in emergency visits and hospitalizations in elderly polypharmacy patients. Clinical benefit or drug-gene interactions are also found in other cardiovascular, psychiatric, analgesic, and gastrointestinal indications. No evaluations of actual costs or of pharmacist prescribing within pharmacy-based PGx have been performed. Facilitators towards successful PGx implementation included pharmacist education, collaboration with other healthcare providers, and the use of clinical decision software.

Pharmacogenomic testing has demonstrated feasibility and improved medication outcomes in pharmacy practice, including in the community pharmacy. Further PGx research should be directed towards pharmacist prescribing, pharmacist education, and pharmacoeconomics.

Ali D, Barra ME, Blunck J, Brophy GM, Brown CS, Caylor M, Clark SL, Hensler D, Jones M, Lamer-Rosen A, Levesque M. Stress-Related Gastrointestinal Bleeding in Patients with Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage: A Multicenter Retrospective Observational Study. Neurocritical care. 2021 Aug;35(1):39-45.

Stress-related mucosal bleeding (SRMB) occurs in approximately 2–4% of critically ill patients. Patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) have a (diffuse) space-occupying lesion, are critically ill, often require mechanical ventilation, and frequently receive anticoagulation or antiplatelet therapy after aneurysm embolization, all of which may be risk factors for SRMB. However, no studies have evaluated SRMB in patients with aSAH. Aims of the study were to determine the incidence of SRMB in aSAH patients, evaluate the effect of acid suppression on SRMB, and identify specific risk factors for SRMB.

This was a multicenter, retrospective, observational study conducted across 17 centers. Each center reviewed up to 50 of the most recent cases of aSAH. Patients with length of stay (LOS) < 48 h or active GI bleeding on admission were excluded. Variables related to demographics, aSAH severity, gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding, provision of SRMB prophylaxis, adverse events, intensive care unit (ICU), and hospital LOS were collected for the first 21 days of admission or until hospital discharge, whichever came first. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data. A multivariate logistic regression modeling was utilized to examine the relationship between specific risk factors and the incidence of clinically important GI bleeding in patients with aSAH.

A total of 627 patients were included. The overall incidence of clinically important GI bleeding was 4.9%. Of the patients with clinically important GI bleeding, 19 (61%) received pharmacologic prophylaxis prior to evidence of GI bleeding, while 12 (39%) were not on pharmacologic prophylaxis at the onset of GI bleeding. Patients who received an acid suppressant agent were less likely to experience GI bleeding than patients who did not receive pharmacologic prophylaxis prior to evidence of bleeding (OR 0.39, 95% CI 0.18–0.83). The multivariate regression analysis identified any instance of elevated intracranial pressure, creatinine clearance < 60 ml/min and the incidence of cerebral vasospasm as specific risk factors associated with GI bleeding. Cerebral vasospasm has not previously been described as a risk for GI bleeding (OR 2.5 95% CI 1.09–5.79).

Clinically important GI bleeding occurred in 4.9% of patients with aSAH, similar to the general critical care population. Risk factors associated with GI bleeding were prolonged mechanical ventilation (> 48 h), creatinine clearance < 60 ml/min, presence of coagulopathy, elevation of intracranial pressure, and cerebral vasospasm. Further prospective research is needed to confirm this observation within this patient population. 

Patrick M, Parmiter S, Mahmoud SH. Feasibility of Using Oral Fluid for Therapeutic Drug Monitoring of Antiepileptic Drugs. European Journal of Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics. 2021 Feb 11:1-9.

Therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) of antiepileptic drugs (AED) using blood is well established but limited by its invasiveness, accessibility, cost, interpretation errors, and related disturbances in protein binding. TDM using oral fluid (OF) could overcome these limitations. This paper provides a summary of the current evidence for using OF as a matrix to perform TDM of AEDs, as well as practical considerations. A literature search of MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library was conducted on April 9, 2018 (and then updated on May 20, 2020) using all AEDs as keywords along with “oral fluid,” “saliva,” “salivary,” “seizure,” “epilepsy,” “antiepileptic,” and “anticonvulsant.” A total of 18 relevant articles were found and included in this review. There is evidence to suggest that AED TDM using OF is feasible and that reference ranges can be calculated for the following drugs: carbamazepine, ethosuximide, lacosamide, lamotrigine, levetiracetam, oxcarbazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone, topiramate, and valproic acid. For all other AEDs, there is either a lack of evidence on the feasibility of TDM using OF or the evidence indicates that TDM using OF is not feasible. Practical considerations should include the timing and method of OF collection (stimulated or unstimulated) due to their probable impact on the reliability of AED TDM. Using OF may improve the acceptability and accessibility and reduce the cost of AED TDM. Clinical implementation requires standardized collection protocols, more rigorously defined OF reference ranges, and further studies to determine the relevance to clinically important outcomes.

Isse FA, Le T, Mahmoud SH. Enantioselective assay of nimodipine in human plasma using liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry. Biomedical Chromatography. 2021 Feb;35(2):e4971.

Nimodipine is a dihydropyridine calcium channel blocker that exhibits higher selectiv-ity toward cerebral blood vessels compared with other members of the same class. Ithas been shown to improve outcomes and prevent delayed cerebral ischemia in thesetting of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage, a life-threatening brain bleed.Nimodipine is a chiral compound and it is marketed as a racemic mixture of (+)-R and(−)-S enantiomers. (−)-S-Nimodipine is approximately twice as potent a vasorelaxantas the racemic mixture and is more rapidly eliminated than the (+)-R counterpartfollowing oral dosing. Few analytical procedures have been reported to determinenimodipine enantiomers in biological samples; however, the reported methods weretime-consuming, involved multistep extraction procedures and required large samplevolumes. Herein, we present an LC–MS/MS method for quantifying nimodipineenantiomers in human plasma using a small sample volume (0.3 ml) and a singleliquid–liquid extraction step. The peak area ratios were linear over the testedconcentration ranges (1.5–75 ng/ml) with r2> 0.99. The intraday CV and percentageerror were within ±14% while the interday values were within ±13%, making thisanalytical method feasible for research purposes and pharmacokinetic studies.

Mahmoud SH, Buhler J, Chu E, Chen SA, Human T. Drug Dosing in Patients Undergoing Therapeutic Plasma Exchange. Neurocritical care. 2021 Feb;34(1):301-11.

Therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE) is an extracorporeal process in which a large volume of whole blood is taken from the patient’s vein. Plasma is then separated from the other cellular components of the blood and discarded while the remaining blood components may then be returned to the patient. Replacement fluids such as albumin or fresh-frozen plasma may or may not be used. TPE has been used clinically for the removal of pathologic targets in the plasma in a variety of conditions, such as pathogenic antibodies in autoimmune disorders. TPE is becoming more common in the neurointensive care space as autoimmunity has been shown to play an etiological role in many acute neurological disorders. It is important to note that not only does TPE removes pathologic elements from the plasma, but may also remove drugs, which may be an intended or unintended consequence. The objective of the current review is to provide an up-to-date summary of the available evidence pertaining to drug removal via TPE and provide relevant clinical suggestions where applicable. This review also aims to provide an easy-to-follow clinical tool in order to determine the possibility of a drug removal via TPE given the procedure-specific and pharmacokinetic drug properties.

Mahmoud SH, Ji X, Isse FA. Nimodipine Pharmacokinetic Variability in Various Patient Populations. Drugs in R&D. 2020 Sep 9:1-2.

Nimodipine has been shown to improve outcomes following aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. Guidelines recommend that all patients receive a fixed dose of oral nimodipine for 21 days. However, pharmacokinetic studies have suggested variability of nimodipine pharmacokinetics in subarachnoid hemorrhage and in other patient populations. The clinical relevance of such variability is unknown. Therefore, the objective of the present review is, first, to conduct a literature review and summarize nimodipine pharmacokinetic data and sources of variability in various patient groups. Second, to determine if there is any evidence reporting an association between nimodipine exposure and clinical outcomes in patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage. A systematic literature search was performed in MEDLINE and EMBASE. The following keywords were used: (“nimodipine” OR “nymalize” OR “nimotop”) AND (“pharmacokinetic*”, OR “PK”). The search results were limited to English language and human studies. A large interpatient variability in nimodipine pharmacokinetics has been reported. Patient-specific factors that had an influence on pharmacokinetic parameters are age, comorbidities, variabilities in metabolism due to genetic polymorphism and co-administered medications, as well as nimodipine administration technique. The association between nimodipine exposure and clinical outcomes remains unclear and data available are too scarce to reach a firm conclusion. Here, we present a narrative review with a systematic literature search discussing nimodipine pharmacokinetic variability in various patient populations. It is not clear if minimal or lack of systemic exposure to nimodipine denies its benefit and contributes to worsening outcomes in patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage. Further studies are needed to determine if such an association exists.

Khey KM, Huard A, Mahmoud SH. Inflammatory pathways following subarachnoid hemorrhage. Cellular and molecular neurobiology. 2020 Jul;40(5):675-93.

Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is an acute cerebrovascular emergency resulting from the rupture of a brain aneurysm. Despite only accounting for 5% of all strokes, SAH imposes a significant health burden on society due to its relatively young age at onset. Those who survive the initial bleed are often afflicted with severe disabilities thought to result from delayed cerebral ischemia (DCI). Consequently, elucidating the underlying mechanistic pathways implicated in DCI development following SAH remains a priority. Neuroinflammation has recently been implicated as a promising new theory for the development of SAH complications. However, despite this interest, clinical trials have failed to provide consistent evidence for the use of anti-inflammatory agents in SAH patients. This may be explained by the complexity of SAH as a plethora of inflammatory pathways have been shown to be activated in the disease. By determining how these pathways may overlap and interact, we hope to better understand the developmental processes of SAH complications and how to prevent them. The goal of this review is to provide insight into the available evidence regarding the molecular pathways involved in the development of inflammation following SAH and how SAH complications may arise as a result of these inflammatory pathways.

Schultz L, Mahmoud SH. Is therapeutic drug monitoring of lacosamide needed in patients with seizures and epilepsy?. European journal of drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics. 2020 Jun;45(3):315-49.

Lacosamide is an antiepileptic drug (AED) that has linear pharmacokinetics, predictable blood concentrations, and few drug interactions, setting it apart from other AEDs that require vigorous therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) such as phenytoin and carbamazepine. However, there have been reports of altered lacosamide pharmacokinetics in some populations. The purpose of this review is to determine whether lacosamide pharmacokinetics are altered in certain patient populations, suggesting the need for TDM. A literature search of Medline, Scopus, Embase, and Cochrane trials was conducted on January 3, 2019 (and then updated on September 2, 2019) to search for articles relevant to the TDM or pharmacokinetics of lacosamide. A total of 56 relevant articles were found and included in this review. Dose of lacosamide is linearly correlated with plasma concentrations and efficacy. However, currently there is no well-established reference range. Overall, the recommended reference ranges varied from 2.2 to 20 mg/L. Lacosamide has very few clinically relevant drug–drug interactions; however, there seems to be a significant drug interaction between lacosamide and enzyme-inducer AEDs. Based on available literature, it appears that lacosamide pharmacokinetics may be altered in severe renal dysfunction, in patients on dialysis and with extremes of age. More evidence is currently needed on lacosamide pharmacokinetics in pregnancy and critical illness. While it is not practical to utilize TDM for all patients, TDM may be useful in patients taking enzyme-inducer AEDs, in patients with decreased renal function or on dialysis, and older adults.

Isse FA, Abdallah YE, Mahmoud SH. The impact of nimodipine administration through feeding tube on outcomes in patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. Journal of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences. 2020 Apr 27;23:100-8.

PURPOSE: Delayed cerebral ischemia (DCI) and vasospasm are the main challenges contributing to unfavorable outcomes following aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. Nimodipine has been shown to decrease the incidence of delayed cerebral ischemia and improve outcomes. In patients who are unable to swallow, nimodipine tablets are crushed and administered through enteral feeding tubes. However, it is not clear whether this may result in reduced clinical effectiveness. The aims of the study were to investigate the impact of nimodipine administration through enteral feeding tubes, in the first 7 days and over the 21-days period on patient outcomes. METHODS: A retrospective chart review of subarachnoid hemorrhage patients admitted at the University of Alberta Hospital, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada was carried out. Logistic regression modelling was utilized to identify predictors of vasospasm and delayed cerebral ischemia. Main outcome measures were angiographic evidence of moderate to severe vasospasm, development of delayed cerebral ischemia and hospital mortality. RESULTS: 85 patients were included. Following adjustment for disease severity, nimodipine administration technique was associated with vasospasm in the first 7 days of patient admission where patients receiving nimodipine via enteral feeding tubes had increased odds of vasospasm compared to those administered it as whole tablets (OR 8.9, 95% CI 1.1-73.1, p value 0.042). When analyzed over the 21-day period, nimodipine administration by feeding tube was associated with increased odds of DCI compared to whole tablets (OR 38.1, 95% CI 1.4-1067.9, p value 0.032). CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that nimodipine administration via enteral feeding tubes may be associated with vasospasm and DCI in subarachnoid hemorrhage patients secondary to reduced exposure. Prospective studies are needed to confirm such association and alternate methods of administration should be explored to ensure patients are getting the benefits of nimodipine.

Mahmoud SH, Zhou XY, Ahmed SN. Managing the patient with epilepsy and renal impairment. Seizure. 2020 Mar 1;76:143-52.

Epilepsy affects more than 50 million people worldwide and its management can be complicated by comorbidities such as impaired renal function. To optimize epilepsy control in patients with kidney disease, clinicians need to be aware of how antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) are affected by impaired renal function and how the kidneys are affected by epilepsy management strategies. Herein we present a narrative review with systematic literature search to discuss the use of AEDs in patients with renal impairment, including those undergoing dialysis, as well as the nephrotoxic effects of some AEDs. We finally conclude the article by providing practical tips about our approach to using AEDs in the setting of renal disease.

A literature search targeting epilepsy management in patients with kidney disease was performed in MEDLINE database (1946 to 7th Jan 2019).

A total of 1193 articles were found. After duplicate removal, title and abstract screening followed by full text screening, a total of 110 references were included in this review. Additional information was included from drug product monographs.

The disposition of AEDs can be altered in patients with impaired renal function, leading to a higher risk of AED toxicity or therapy failure. Renal dosage adjustment and close monitoring is recommended. Although AED-induced nephrotoxicity is rare, it is unpredictable and clinicians need to vigilant about this possibility. In addition, AEDs renal adverse reactions and renal drug interactions should be considered when selecting an AED.

Mahmoud SH, Ho‐Huang E, Buhler J. Systematic review of ketogenic diet use in adult patients with status epilepticus. Epilepsia open. 2020 Mar;5(1):10-21.

Status epilepticus (SE) is a medical emergency that is associated with a significant morbidity and mortality. Recently, there has been significant interest in the use of ketogenic diets (KD) in the management of SE. KD is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate, and adequate protein diet that has been shown to be a safe and effective adjuvant to present SE management in patients with refractory epilepsy. Many case reports and case series have demonstrated the potential safety and effectiveness of KD for the acute treatment of SE; however, quality studies remain scarce on this topic. The purpose of this systematic review is to summarize the available evidence for the safety and effectiveness of KD in adults with SE. A literature search was performed in MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, and CINAHL (September 14, 2018). The search was repeated on March 27, 2019, to include any studies published since the original search. Keywords related to KD and SE were used. Studies were selected based on the reported use of the KD in SE. The search resulted in a total of 954 records. After screening and full-text review, 17 articles were included in this review: four observational studies, 10 case reports, and 3 case series. Based on the observational studies, a total of 38 Patients with SE have been reported. KD was successful in achieving cessation of SE in 31 Patients (82%). The most common adverse effects reported were metabolic acidosis, hyperlipidemia, and hypoglycemia. The current limited evidence suggests that KD might be considered as an option for adult patients with SE. Although promising, the results need to be interpreted with caution due to the inherent bias, confounding and small sample size of the included studies. A randomized controlled trial is recommended to establish role of KD in the management of SE in adults.

Hocker S, Shah S, Vespa P, Provencio JJ, Calvillo E, Olson DM, Rao CV, Hemphill JC, Helbok R, Human T, Kamel H. The future of neurocritical care research: proceedings and recommendations from the fifth neurocritical care research network conference. InNeurocritical care 2020 Feb (Vol. 32, No. 1, pp. 311-316). Springer US.

The Fifth Neurocritical Care Research Network (NCRN) Conference held in Boca Raton, Florida, in September of 2018 was devoted to challenging the current status quo and examining the role of the Neurocritical Care Society (NCS) in driving the science and research of neurocritical care. The aim of this in-person meeting was to set the agenda for the NCS’s Neurocritical Care Research Central, which is the overall research arm of the society. Prior to the meeting, all 103 participants received educational content (book and seminar) on the ‘Blue Ocean Strategy®,’ a concept from the business world which aims to identify undiscovered and uncontested market space, and to brainstorm innovative ideas and methods with which to address current challenges in neurocritical care research. Three five-member working groups met at least four times by teleconference prior to the in-person meeting to prepare answers to a set of questions using the Blue Ocean Strategy concept as a platform. At the Fifth NCRN Conference, these groups presented to a five-member jury and all attendees for open discussion. The jury then developed a set of recommendations for NCS to consider in order to move neurocritical care research forward. We have summarized the topics discussed at the conference and put forward recommendations for the future direction of the NCRN and neurocritical care research in general.

Mahmoud SH, Marette V, Lindqvist T, Ahmed SN. Critical Care Management of Status Epilepticus at a Tertiary Care University Hospital. Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences. 2019 Nov;46(6):702-10.

Status epilepticus (SE) is a neurological emergency associated with significant morbidity and mortality. The objective of this study was to review the critical care management of patients with SE focusing on antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) as well as to determine the optimal dosing strategies of phenytoin (PHT) and predictors of its effectiveness.

A retrospective chart review of adult patients with SE admitted to the University of Alberta Hospital, Canada, was conducted.

Fifty-six admissions were included. Benzodiazepines (BDZs) were initially given in 89% of our patients. Following BDZs, PHT and levetiracetam were the most commonly initiated AEDs as first- and second-line agents and were deemed effective in 30/44 and 5/11 patients, respectively. Patients who received a PHT loading dose (LD) of 1000 mg were less likely to reach target levels compared with a weight-based LD ≥15 mg/kg (29% vs. 60%). Likewise, patients who received a maintenance dose (MD) of 300 mg/day were less likely to reach target compared with 400 mg/day or >5 mg/kg per day; however, this did not reach statistical significance. Three variables were found to be associated with PHT effectiveness: tonic-clonic SE (OR 5.01, 95% CI 1.02–24.7, p = 0.048), history of seizures and BMI <30 kg/m2 (OR 0.16, 95% CI 0.03–1.07, p = 0.059).

Further studies of the predictors of PHT effectiveness, specifically obesity, are necessary to help individualize care. Finally, we suggest that PHT should be loaded according to the guidelines as 20 mg/kg followed by an MD of at least 400 mg/day or >5 mg/kg per day.

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