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Muscle Nerve ; 64(2): 215-219, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1245512


INTRODUCTION/AIMS: Cortical hyperexcitability is a feature of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and cortical excitability can be measured using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Resting motor threshold (MT) is a measure of cortical excitability, largely driven by glutamate. Perampanel, a glutamate α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptor blocker, is predicted to increase the cortical excitability threshold. This study aimed to evaluate TMS to functionally assess target engagement in a study of perampanel in ALS. METHOD: We studied the MT of ALS patients randomized to a single dose of perampanel or placebo 5:1 hourly for 4 h. Twelve patients participated at 4 mg and 7 returned for dosing and retesting at 8 mg. The study was terminated in April 2020 due to coronavirus disease 2019-related restrictions, after 7 out of 12 planned patients had received the 8 mg dose. Serum concentrations were also measured. RESULTS: Ten patients received the 4 mg dose (2 received placebo) and 5 received the 8 mg dose (2 received placebo). Motor Threshold increased at 2 h after dosing in the combined treatment group +7% of maximal stimulator output (P < .01). Change could be detected in the larger 4 mg group (P = .02), but not in the smaller 8 mg dose group (P = .1). No side effects were reported after single dose exposure. DISCUSSION: This study shows that perampanel effects the physiology of upper motor neurons. Studies aiming at gauging the effect of perampanel on ALS disease progression are already ongoing. Motor threshold may serve as a marker of biological target engagement.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis/drug therapy , Cortical Excitability/drug effects , Motor Neurons/drug effects , Pyridones/administration & dosage , Receptors, AMPA/antagonists & inhibitors , Aged , Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis/blood , Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis/diagnosis , Cortical Excitability/physiology , Double-Blind Method , Evoked Potentials, Motor/drug effects , Evoked Potentials, Motor/physiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Motor Neurons/physiology , Nitriles , Pilot Projects , Pyridones/blood , Receptors, AMPA/physiology , Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation/methods
Eur J Pharm Sci ; 157: 105631, 2021 Feb 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-893750


BACKGROUND: Effective antiviral drugs for COVID-19 are still lacking. This study aims to evaluate the clinical outcomes and plasma concentrations of baloxavir acid and favipiravir in COVID-19 patients. METHODS: Favipiravir and baloxavir acid were evaluated for their antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 in vitro before the trial initiation. We conducted an exploratory trial with 3 arms involving hospitalized adult patients with COVID-19. Patients were randomized assigned in a 1:1:1 ratio into baloxavir marboxil group, favipiravir group, and control group. The primary outcome was the percentage of subjects with viral negative by Day 14 and the time from randomization to clinical improvement. Virus load reduction, blood drug concentration and clinical presentation were also observed. The trial was registered with Chinese Clinical Trial Registry (ChiCTR 2000029544). RESULTS: Baloxavir acid showed antiviral activity in vitro with the half-maximal effective concentration (EC50) of 5.48 µM comparable to arbidol and lopinavir, but favipiravir didn't demonstrate significant antiviral activity up to 100 µM. Thirty patients were enrolled. The percentage of patients who turned viral negative after 14-day treatment was 70%, 77%, and 100% in the baloxavir marboxil, favipiravir, and control group respectively, with the medians of time from randomization to clinical improvement was 14, 14 and 15 days, respectively. One reason for the lack of virological effect and clinical benefits may be due to insufficient concentrations of these drugs relative to their antiviral activities. One of the limitations of this study is the time from symptom onset to randomization, especially in the baloxavir marboxil and control groups, which is higher than the favipiravir group. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings could not prove a benefit of addition of either baloxavir marboxil or favipiravir under the trial dosages to the existing standard treatment.

Amides , COVID-19 , Dibenzothiepins , Morpholines , Pyrazines , Pyridones , Triazines , Amides/administration & dosage , Amides/blood , Amides/pharmacokinetics , Antiviral Agents/administration & dosage , Antiviral Agents/blood , Antiviral Agents/pharmacokinetics , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/physiopathology , Dibenzothiepins/administration & dosage , Dibenzothiepins/blood , Dibenzothiepins/pharmacokinetics , Drug Monitoring/methods , Female , Humans , Inhibitory Concentration 50 , Male , Middle Aged , Morpholines/administration & dosage , Morpholines/blood , Morpholines/pharmacokinetics , Pyrazines/administration & dosage , Pyrazines/blood , Pyrazines/pharmacokinetics , Pyridones/administration & dosage , Pyridones/blood , Pyridones/pharmacokinetics , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Symptom Assessment , Treatment Outcome , Triazines/administration & dosage , Triazines/blood , Triazines/pharmacokinetics , Viral Load/drug effects
J Thromb Haemost ; 18(6): 1320-1323, 2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-116313


BACKGROUND: Antiviral drugs are administered in patients with severe COVID-19 respiratory syndrome, including those treated with direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs). Concomitant administration of antiviral agents has the potential to increase their plasma concentration. A series of patients managed in the Cremona Thrombosis Center were admitted at Cremona Hospital for SARS-CoV-2 and started antiviral drugs without stopping DOAC therapy. DOAC plasma levels were measured in hospital and results compared with those recorded before hospitalization. METHODS: All consecutive patients on DOACs were candidates for administration of antiviral agents (lopinavir, ritonavir, or darunavir). Plasma samples for DOAC measurement were collected 2to 4 days after starting antiviral treatment, at 12 hours from the last dose intake in patients on dabigatran and apixaban, and at 24 hours in those on rivaroxaban and edoxaban. For each patient, C-trough DOAC level, expressed as ng/mL, was compared with the one measured before hospitalization. RESULTS: Of the 1039 patients hospitalized between February 22 and March 15, 2020 with COVID-19 pneumonia and candidates for antiviral therapy, 32 were on treatment with a DOAC. DOAC was stopped in 20 and continued in the remaining 12. On average, C-trough levels were 6.14 times higher during hospitalization than in the pre-hospitalization period. CONCLUSION: DOAC patients treated with antiviral drugs show an alarming increase in DOAC plasma levels. In order to prevent bleeding complications, we believe that physicians should consider withholding DOACs from patients with SARS-CoV-2 and replacing them with alternative parenteral antithrombotic strategies for as long as antiviral agents are deemed necessary and until discharge.

Antithrombins/blood , Antiviral Agents/adverse effects , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Dabigatran/blood , Factor Xa Inhibitors/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Pyrazoles/blood , Pyridines/blood , Pyridones/blood , Thiazoles/blood , Administration, Oral , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antithrombins/administration & dosage , Antithrombins/adverse effects , Antiviral Agents/administration & dosage , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Dabigatran/administration & dosage , Dabigatran/adverse effects , Darunavir/adverse effects , Drug Interactions , Drug Monitoring , Factor Xa Inhibitors/administration & dosage , Factor Xa Inhibitors/adverse effects , Female , Hemorrhage/chemically induced , Humans , Italy , Lopinavir/adverse effects , Male , Pandemics , Patient Safety , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Pyrazoles/administration & dosage , Pyrazoles/adverse effects , Pyridines/administration & dosage , Pyridines/adverse effects , Pyridones/administration & dosage , Pyridones/adverse effects , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors , Ritonavir/adverse effects , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Thiazoles/administration & dosage , Thiazoles/adverse effects