Liposomes were proposed as drug vector systems in the treatment of many diseases. The following characteristics recommend the liposomes as attractive candidates for drug transportation: solubilisation, duration of action, targeting potential and internalisation. Methotrexate, a folate antagonist, was originally developed as an antineoplastic agent and subsequently used in inflammatory and/or immunosuppressive diseases. Its side effects have led researchers to direct their efforts to reduce toxicity, while maintaining efficacy of methotrexate. Liposomes with methotrexate as such, as well as its disodium salt, were prepared using two methods. The liposomes were characterized in terms of structure, size, degree of poly‐dispersion and encapsulation efficiency. The effect of methotrexate incorporated in liposomes has been investigated in vitro on human lymphoblastic cell line K562. Methotrexate incorporated into liposomes moderately reduces the proliferation of K562 cells, but significantly inhibits RNA synthesis. The cellular activation is probably the main target of the drug and not the neoplastic proliferation of cells. The methotrexate liposomes exhibited significant anti‐inflammatory activity and showed reduced toxicity. Given that the encapsulating of the drug in vector systems may result in the increasing concentration at the site of action, the methotrexate liposomes represent a targeted therapy with an optimized therapeutic efficacy—risk toxicity ratio.
Part of the book: Liposomes
In substitution therapy for treatment of heroin addiction, methadone is the synthetic opioid agonist of first choice. Methadone doses vary depending on addict profile established by repeated evaluation. It studied a group of 82 patients both male and female, aged between 19 and 47 years, residing in Bucharest, with diagnosis of heroin addiction. They were voluntarily submitted in the methadone substitution treatment at a specialized treatment center for addiction in Bucharest. The study group was characterized in detail, taking into account demographic, comorbid and addiction characteristics, heroin use history, treatment history, and clinical and paraclinical evaluation. The outcomes resulting from the study design on 82 heroin addict patients enrolled into a methadone maintenance program highlighted: lowering of the onset age of heroin use, HVC infection comorbidity, and the extension of the treatment period due to the relapses. The results obtained by clinical, laboratory, and psychological complex evaluations in a correlative approach is essential both in initiating methadone treatment and monitoring the detox period but also in the supervision of methadone maintenance treatment.
Part of the book: Drug Addiction