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EPSA Newsletter

Dear everyone,

Bringing pharmacy knowledge and students together.

Volume 24 | Edition 1 | November 2017 | @EPSA_Online

Table of contents 4 Interdisciplinary seminar: Learning to work together

Meet our new members

EPSA events

Antimicrobial resistance

Young Pharmacists’ Association, Armenia | TÜRS, Estonia

40th Annual Congress, Slovenia | 19th EPSA University, Portugal

The next step in EPSA´s advocacy work

Do not miss the new issue of EPSA Newsletter Find out more:

6 Iodine levels in Portuguese cow’s milk 8 Effects of erythropoietin therapy in the treatment of anemia in patients with chronic renal faliure 10 Drug-related problems in elderly nursing home patients 12 Evaluation of the influence of the storage conditions on the viability of different groups of microorganisms in homogenized kefir 14 The involvment of adrenergic receptors in the antiociceptive effect of eslicarbazepine acetate 16 The effect of over the counter drugs on urine amphetamine screening

My name is Anja Šribar and I am the EPSA Science Coordinator for the 2017/2018 mandate. I am very happy to introduce to you the first edition of EPSA Students' Science Publication (ESSP) of this mandate – Volume 5, Edition 1. ESSP is a project that offers students an opportunity to get an experience in writing an abstract and getting the feedback from the European Federation for Pharmaceutical Sciences (EUFEPS), who professionally reviews the abstracts. With their participation in this project, students improve valuable skills which help them in their future research and professional development. In this edition you can find five abstracts from students from all around Europe who have done some researches in different pharmaceutical fields and decided to share them within ESSP. We have also included a ''Question & Answer'' section of each author, so readers can find out more about them and their work. On this point, I would like to thank the authors for submitting the abstracts and participating within the whole process for making this edition possible. I would also like to thank EUFEPS for their collaboration and the hard work they have put into this edition, supporting this project and setting it on a high professional level. And at last, but not least, I would like to thank EPSA Team, especially the Educational Department and the Department for Public Relations for all their hard work, support and motivation. Dear reader, I am looking forward to seeing your abstract in the next edition! Yours in EPSA Anja Šribar Science Coordinator 2017/2018


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Interdisciplinary seminar: Learning to work together Arthur PIRAUX1 ; Estelle COLIN2 ; Nicolas LEROLLE2 ; Cecile ROUILLARD3 ; Sylvie SOLORZANO4 ; Frederic LAGARCE2 1- Health Faculty of Angers (France), Pharmacy 2- Health Faculty, Medicine 3- Health Faculty, Midwifery 4- School nurses, Cholet (France)

INTRODUCTION: Interdisciplinary teaching of health students is necessary to achieve interdisciplinary cooperation of health professionals in the community. Implementing learning activities for different streams of students may be difficult since students may be enrolled in different institutions and have different learning schedules. AIM / OBJECTIVE: Distant learning allowed 600 students from different fields and places to cooperate and tackle together issues in which interdisciplinarity is a key component for the quality of care. For the first edition of this interdisciplinary seminar dedicated to interprofessional cooperation, we wanted to determine know the benefits of this type of seminar, as much as the understanding of it and the the importance of collaboration. MATERIALS / METHODS: The University of Angers has implemented an interdisciplinary seminar for students in medicine, pharmacy, midwifery, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and nursing. Students were supervised by health educators and professionals. Distant cooperative learning, in groups of 10 students from different backgrounds, was completed by a full day seminar in which all students (600) participated and presented their work. To analyse the value of this seminar, a pre/ post-approach was chosen. RESULTS: More than one third of the students was able to learn about their own limits and how to communicate from a distance. In this first interdisciplinary seminar, only a quarter of the students considered they had learned how to work together during this experiment. However , more than half of them was able to recognize the contribution of

others in working through the seminar. So, despite the distance between them, the students initiated an interprofessional reflection and recognized they had worked efficiently together. CONCLUSION: Interdisciplinarity provided the students with a better insight of the competencies of other health professionals. The topics were chosen so as to illustrate the relevance of interprofessional cooperation for the quality of patient care. Distant learning provides opportunities for students learning in different environments to cooperate. This can help to bridge the gap between students enrolled in different health curricula, and it could also be used to develop transnational programs. An interdisciplinary approach to healthcare should be included in the curriculum of all health students.

Questions & answers Please tell us a little bit more about yourself. My name is Arthur Piraux and I am a young pharmacist graduate (for 2 months now) from the Faculty of Angers (in the western part of France). I work in a community pharmacy, but in the meantime I want to continue my studies with a PhD to develop research in community pharmacy. I would like to teach, but I don’t want to lose the contact with patients. Last year, I was involved in the “ANEPF” (the French association of pharmaceutical students), in charge of the education. Because of my engagement, I could fairly understand the importance of “working together”, thus collaboration. I took the advantage of my student representative position in the health Faculty of Angers to create an experiment in my Faculty: an interdisciplinary seminar. Tell us a bit more about your research and its significance. We all known that we need to work together to increase the patient care quality. However, working together is not so easy, and this is why an interdisciplinary seminar was created last year. It brought up the notion of “working together” to different health students (medicine, pharmacy, midwifery, nursing, physiotherapy and occupational therapy). The interprofessional education (IPE) is still not often taught in the programs of our training courses, but it has been approved by many people (students and health professionals). For this reason, we will continue this experimentation with a second seminar this year. What





whilst carrying out the research and how did you overcome it? We encountered logistic difficulties during this experiment and that is why some students considered this first experience as inconclusive, but welcomed the initiative. More than 600 students from different health care courses at the University of Angers were included in this project. It was difficult to organise a project involving with so many people, and therefore this is the reason why I created a reception committee with other students (with one or two students from each institute). In your opinion, what is the benefit of joining ESSP and what advice do you have for students undertaking research in the future? I think that we don't usually write this kind of scientific papers. In reality, this is my first one. But we have to break the ice if we want to gain knowledge and recognise our potential. That is one of the reasons why I think it is a great opportunity to join ESSP. I suggest you to do the same thing as well ! Don't be afraid, you have nothing to lose at the end.


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Iodine levels in Portuguese cow’s milk C. Vieira1, E. Pinto1, M. Tomé1, A. Cunha1 C. Vital1 and A. Almeida1 1 LAQV / REQUIMTE, Department of Chemical Sciences, Laboratory of Applied Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Porto, Portugal.

Introduction: Iodine is an essential micronutrient, necessary for the synthesis of thyroid hormones triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), critical determinants of metabolic activity and required for proper skeletal and CNS development in fetuses and infants. It is estimated that around 2 billion people worldwide have insufficient iodine intake and are at risk of iodine deficiency disorders. The Recommended Dietary Allowances for iodine range from 90 μg to 290 μg/day. Milk is a major iodine source in Western diets. The concentration of iodine in milk depends on several factors, namely animals’ diet, season and disinfectants used for the cow’s udder washing. Aims: In this work, using an analytical procedure combining an alkaline digestion of milk samples with 25% tetramethylammonium hydroxide (3 h; 90 ºC) and iodine determination by ICP-MS, we assessed the iodine levels in different cow’s milk brands from the Portuguese market (n = 44). Results: The results showed a wide variation in milk iodine levels: 204 ± 86 µg/L (mean ± SD), ranging from 35.7 µg/L to 473 µg/L. The lowest values (< 90 µg/L) were found in whole milk, “biologic” milk and one sample from Azores. Excluding these samples (n = 5), mean iodine levels were 221 ± 75 µg/L (range: 128 µg/L – 473 µg/L). Conclusion: Based on our results half a liter of milk can meet the children daily iodine requirements (90 - 130 µg/day). Keywords: iodine, iodine deficiency, milk, ICP-MS.

Questions & answers Please tell us a little bit more about yourself. My name is Carina and first of all, I am very passionate about science. I love learning new things, because only then can I grow as a person and especially as a professional. I am very persistent, and I always try to do my best in everything I do. Tell us a bit more about your research and its significance. My research is focused on the topic "Iodine levels in cow's milk marketed in Portugal". I think this project is important because there is much controversy on this issue, and mainly due to the shortcomings in this micronutrient that is essential for our health. I believe that studying the levels of iodine in milk may be of added value to the community, since only two glasses of milk a day are sufficient to meet iodine needs, and ordinary people do not know it. In addition, the differences obtained between the different types of milk are surprising and it would be great if this theme were studied more in order to perceive the impact that milk and its derivatives can have in this regard. What was the biggest challenge whilst carrying out the research and how did you overcome it? The biggest challenge I had in this research was knowing where to start working and deciding which array would be used. With the help of my counselor, I was able to take a safer path. Then the choice of the method to be used in the analysis was also very complicated. It was necessary to try hard, to err, and to try again to find the one that

suited the most. I think this was the most complicated phase of the whole project, since I could see that the work was not bringing about what it was supposed to, and that makes anyone unmotivated. Therefore, I believe the secret is to never give up and be very persistent, because investigation is made of this trial-error process. In your opinion, what is the benefit of joining ESSP and what advice do you have for students undertaking research in the future? I think it is a good thing to join the ESSP because it is a great opportunity to show my work to others. I have always loved this area and therefore I see this opportunity as a way to grow personally and professionally since I will have much to learn from the work of others as well. My advice to the students who want to launch into the world of research is to never give up, because all the adversities that we have to overcome will someday be rewarded, and at the same time we are contributing to science


European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association | @EPSA_Online

Effects of erythropoietin therapy in the treatment of anemia in patients with chronic renal faliure Filip Mihajlovic1, Milosavljevic Aleksandar1, Natasa Mitrovic2, Dusan Djuric1(s) 1. Faculty of Medical Science, Kragujevac, 34000 Kragujevac, Svetozara Markovica 69, Serbia. E-mail of student: f.mihajlovic@yahoo. com. 2. Clinic for Urology, Nephrology and Dialysis, Clinical Center of Kraguejvac.

Introduction: Anaemia occurs very early during the progression of chronic kidney insufficiency. Although the cause is multifactorial, in most cases, it is the result of endogenous erythropoietin deficiency. Objective: The aim of this paper is to compare the effects of different types of erythropoietin in the treatment of anaemia in patients with chronic renal insufficiency through the values of serum iron, haemoglobin and hematocrit. Patients blood parameters were assessed seven days after receiving intravenous/subcutaneous dose of one of erythropoietin preparations. In addition to that, research aims to determine whether or not the application of additional therapy could lead to a decreased therapeutic response to the erythropoietin treatment, as well as which comorbidities of the patients on hemodialysis may potential factors in resistance to a given erythropoietin. Material and method: Observational, non-therapeutic, analytical cross-sectional study conducted at the Clinic for Urology, Nephrology and Dialysis, after receiving the permission of the Ethical Committee of the

Clinical Center of Kragujevac. Results: In the sample of 100 patients diagnosed with renal anaemia effects of erythropoietin therapy were tested through parameters of blood test results, after which the obtained results indicate that there is a statistically significant difference in response to erythropoietin depending on gender, type of erythropoietin, additional therapy and presence of co/polymorbidity. The results of the work were presented in tabular form. Conclusion: The obtained results indicate that the best target values of blood parameters are achieved by the use of darbepoetin alpha, which is by the structure most similar to endogenous erythropoietin. Therapy with erythropoietin in clinical practice is a major challenge for nephrologists and clinical pharmacologists. In order to improve and optimize the therapy for each patient individually, careful monotoring of therapy, selecting the appropriate therapeutic dose, adequate dosage interval and the type of erythropoietin is required. Key words: erythropoietin, efficiency, renal anemia, chronic renal failure, hemodialysis.

Questions & answers Please, tell us a little bit more about yourself. My name is Filip Mihajlovic, born on May 12, 1993, in Kragujevac. As an excellent student, I completed the Secondary School of Medicine "Sisters Ninkovic" in Kragujevac in 2012, and the Faculty of Medical Sciences in 2017 with average grade 9, 17, receiving the title of Master of Pharmacy. I am one of the founding members of the Association of Pharmacy Students Kragujevac (KgPSA), in which I am serving as Secretary-General this year. I authored 4 published papers in domestic magazines, for which I received commendation by the Serbian Medical Society for Scientific Researchers. Vice President of the Center for Professional and Scientific Research, at the Faculty of Medical Sciences. Tell us a bit more about your research and its significance. Co-author, Milosavljevic Aleksandar, a senior student of medicine, in the Faculty of Medical Sciences in Kragujevac, and I conducted the research in the course of writing my master's thesis in the dialysis centre of the clinical centre in Kragujevac. With helpful guidance from our mentor and experience from the clinical practice of the main researcher, we managed to conclude that additional therapy and the presence of associated diseases affects the response of chronic renal failure patients to erythropoietin therapy. What was the biggest challenge whilst carrying out the research and how did you overcome that? The biggest challenge whilst carrying out of this

research was extracting the data, considering that there is no electronic database in the dialysis centre in Kragujevac. All the data has been extracted from the dialysis notebooks, patient histories and protocols in which blood parameter values are evidenced after erythropoietin therapy, by co-author and me. In your opinion, what is the benefit of joining ESSP and what advice do you have for students undertaking research in the future? Being part of the EPSA Student’s Science Publication through the National and Local Associations of Pharmacy students is a great advantage which enables insight and participation in the activities of pharmacy students from other European countries. Students who engage in scientific research in the future should refer to the Ethics Code of doctors and pharmacists when writing their papers, hence their research should be conducted in accordance with the principles of Good Clinical Practice and the Helsinki Declaration.


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Drug-related problems in elderly nursing home patients Students: Ivona Đurović, Jelena Kurija Supervisors: Iva Mucalo, Katarina Fehir Šola, Donatella Verbanac, Sanda Vladimir Knežević Institution: Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, University of Zagreb, Croatia

Introduction: Since the number of comorbidities and the number of medications grows with the increasing life expectancy, elderly people are more inclined to the risk of developing drug therapy problems that can impair their health and quality of life, increase the number of hospitalizations, visits to a doctor and medical expenses. The role of the pharmaceutical care practitioner is to responsibly monitor and manage the pharmacotherapy that is efficient and safe for the patient. Aim of the study: Since the gerontological public health analysis indicated inadequate health care in the nursing homes in Croatia, the aim of this research was to determine the prevalence and the type of residents' drug therapy problems. Methods: The conducted research was designed as cross-sectional and it was carried out in the period between February and June 2016 in Caritas Nursing Home "St Kamilo de Lellis" (Home) in Vrbovec, Croatia. Inclusion criteria were 1) being a resident of the Home, 2) having two or more medications in the therapy, and 3) signed Informed consent. Patients’ data were retrieved by a careful review of the patients’ admission documents, medical records, and through an interview with the residents and medical staff. Standard demographic details, current and previous medical diagnoses, regular prescription medicines, social history, history of drug allergy and adverse drug reactions, serum biochemistry and renal function (when available) were collected for each patient by a clinical pharmacist and two independent pharmacy students. The identification of drug therapy problems was based on the categorization according to Cipolle, and the analysis included type X and D interactions searched for in Lexi-Interact program. The Ethical Committee of the Home approved this

research. Results: This research included 101 participants whose average age was 79 (range 60-96) years. On average they were taking 7 medicines (range 2-16) and had 4 comorbidities (range 1-11). The most common comorbidities were from the ICD groups F (mental and behavioral disorders), I (diseases of the circulatory system) and M (diseases of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue). A total of 526 drug therapy problems were determined with the average of 5 per patient. The majority of drug therapy problems were categorized as ”excessive duration of therapy“ (14, 83%), ”the medicine is not safe for a patient due to risk factors“ (11,03%) and ”untreated condition“ (10,65%). Conclusion: A substantial proportion of drug therapy problems identified among elderly patients in the Home, demonstrates the need for more adequate therapy monitoring and implementation of a pharmaceutical care practitioner in a health care team, that provides focused care for elderly patients.

satisfaction was the sign that the service was well done.

Questions & answers Please tell us a little bit more about yourself. Ivona and I were both students at the time of conducting this research. Now my colleague is Mpharm, fully devoted in helping others in a community drug store. And me, well, I am still finishing my studies and starting my final year of practice also in a community drug store. We both decided to be involved in this research because we saw it could help us to determine the differences between practice and science. It surely did. And we also helped Mrs Fehir Šola with her PhD as this is only a small part of her doctorate. Tell us a bit more about your research and its significance. The aim of the study was to determine drug therapy problems in elderly patients in a Nursing home. As the main advantage of the research we would like to emphasize the fact that this is one of few, if not the only one of its kind, ever conducted in our country. It is interesting to see what are the most and least common problems in Nursing homes and to compare the results with the literature. Finally, we had only a brief look in a current situation that showed us that everyday problems of the elderly are not so different from written facts. What was the biggest challenge whilst carrying out the research and how did you overcome that? The biggest challenge was setting the pharmacist role in a Nursing home. The perception of residents regarding the role of a pharmacist is not understood, so we had to explain what pharmacists can do, in order to improve medication therapy. Patient

In your opinion, what is the benefit of joining ESSP and what advice do you have for students undertaking research in the future? The benefit of joining ESSP is not only the opportunity to publish an abstract and develop skills for science research, but also an informative and entertaining reading of the other students' abstracts. It helps keeping us up to date with the useful issues, giving us new ideas or helping us to find a solution to our problems.


European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association

Evaluation of the influence of the storage conditions on the viability of different groups of microorganisms in homogenized kefir | @EPSA_Online

we could use non-preserved gel, because the preservatives slow down the growth of microorganisms. Also, we could make vaginal capsules of lyophilised lactic acid bacteria and lyophilised aloe vera gel, despite the fact that after lyophilization viability slightly falls, it is still sufficient and there are a lot

of other advantages like minor fluctuations in viability through storage time and also such pharmaceutical form exhibits handling stability. Probiotics show a big potential for treating different diseases, that is why they must be more researched.

Student: Natasa Nikolic (, Supervisor (Mentor): Borut Štrukelj, phD, full prof., Comentor: Aleš Berlec, phD Settings: Department of Pharmaceutical biology, Faculty of pharmacy Ljubljana, Slovenia

Introduction: Probiotics are living non-pathogenic microorganisms, that consumed in sufficient quantity, have beneficial effects on the health of the host. They are similar to those of which intestinal and vaginal microbiotas are composed. The most common bacteria that are used as probiotics are lactic acid bacteria, which show beneficial effects as they prevent the spread of pathogenic microorganisms and consequently maintain microflora’s balance. They show many therapeutic effects, especially with gastrointestinal and vaginal diseases. We examined probiotic product kefir, prepared of kefir grains, which contain lactic acid bacteria, acetic acid bacteria and yeast. Aim/Objective: The goal of our research was to prove that kefir grains consist of all already mentioned microorganisms, among which lactic acid bacteria predominate and examine the effects of storage conditions (4 °C, 23 °C and 37 °C) on the viability of microorganisms. Furthermore, the purpose of our research was also to incorporate a kefir homogenate into aloe vera 100% gel and monitor its stability. Our goal was to work out a semi-solid pharmaceutical form for curing vaginal dysbiosis. The aloe vera gel serves as a delivery system that does not irritate the vaginal mucosa and shows antifungal effect. Materials and methods: We used the drop plate method by inoculating homogeneous samples onto solid culture media and counting grown colonies after incubation and storage under different conditions, to determine the viability of microorganisms. We monitored the viability during a 2-months period. We also checked the viability of microorganisms inside the lyophilised samples and in combination with 100% aloe vera gel.

programs Microsoft Excel and GraphPad Prism 6. We have established that within the microbiota of kefir grains lactic acid bacteria predominate. Their viability is the best at 4 °C and the worst at 37 °C. Similar results were observed with yeast and acetic acid bacteria. The grains contain 107 CFU/cm2 of lactic acid bacteria, and that represents one of the criteria that that product shows beneficial effects to the health. The level of microorganisms’ survival drops after lyophilisation, the viability is 105 CFU/cm2. Some improvement is shown after adding 10% sucrose that is lyoprotectant, the grains contain 106 CFU/ cm2 of lactic acid bacteria. However, the microorganisms’ viability unexpectedly drops after incorporating them in the aloe vera gel and the survival level of lactic acid bacteria is too low (103 CFU/cm2).

Conclusion: The viability of microorganisms in kefir grains depends on storage temperature. We established that viability of lactic acid bacteria remains unchanged in a 2-months period at storage temperatures of 4 °C and 23 °C. But when we incorporate Results: After the counting of the grown the microorganism in aloe vera gel, the colonies, we processed our results with the viability of them is too low. So, in the future

Questions & answers Please tell us a little bit more about yourself. Hi, my name is Natasa Nikolic and I come from Slovenia. I recently graduated from the Faculty of Pharmacy in Ljubljana (Slovenia) and this research represents my master thesis. I am a member of the student section of the Slovenian Pharmaceutical Society and I am regularly attending various symposiums, which give me a lot of additional knowledge. I am mostly interested in clinical pharmacy, and now after my graduation, I intend to complete a three-year specialization in clinical pharmacy. My vision is to improve the treatment of the patients. I also like to travel and I speak a few languages. Tell us a bit more about your research and its significance. This work is the product of a 4-month research in a laboratory. The use of probiotics has been spreading for the last ten years, because they show many therapeutic effects, especially with gastrointestinal and vaginal diseases. Recent studies also show reduction of blood pressure , serum glucose and cholesterol, antioxidant

effects and impact on cancer cells and consequently tumor reduction. In our study, we focused on vaginal dysbiosis, because treatment with antibiotics and antimycotics in a lot of cases help only in short term and then the problems recur. Microorganisms from kefir grains, especially lactic acid bacteria return the balance of vaginal microbiota and reduce the risk of disease recovery. What was the biggest challenge whilst carrying out the research and how did you overcome that? In our work, the biggest challenge was that we handled live microorganisms and you never know how they will respond to certain conditions and the whole work depends on their survival. But my mentor and co-mentor worked out a good protocol and the best conditions which adequately represent the viability of microorganisms in various storage conditions. We got satisfactory results that are encouraging for further work. In your opinion, what is the benefit of joining ESSP and what advice do you have for students undertaking research in the future? Joining ESSP definitely gives you a new experience in writing an abstract and a sense for further research publishing. So my advice is, if you like science and if you like pharmacy, go ahead, undertake the researches and publish them!


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The involvment of adrenergic receptors in the antiociceptive effect of eslicarbazepine acetate Veljko Cvetković, Katarina Popović, Full Prof. Radica Stepanovic Petrovic, TA Uros Pecikoza Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy - University of Belgrade,

Introduction: Eslicarbazepine acetate is an antiepileptic drug with known antinociceptive effects in orofacial formalin test, a trigeminal pain model in mice. It inhibits not only the hyperactivity of neurons, which leads to convulsions, but also the activity of neurons responsible for trigeminal neuralgia. Activation of adrenergic receptors can generate analgesic effect or contribute to hyperalgesia and chronic pain. ß The Aim/Objective: By using ß-antagonists and eslicarbazepine acetate in orofacial formalin test we assessed if adrenergic neurotransmission by ß-adrenergic receptors has a role in the antinociceptive effect of eslicarbazepine acetate. Material and Methods: Pain hypersensitivity of an orofacial region in male Swiss Webster mice strain was caused by subcutaneous injection of formalin (2%, 20 μL). The time that mice spent in nociceptive behaviour - rubbing of a perinasal area with ipsilateral front and/or hind paw was measured. Eslicarbazepine acetate (60 mg/ kg; p.o.), alone or combined with propranolol (1 mg/kg or 3 mg/kg; i.p.) or metoprolol (1 mg/kg or 2 mg/kg; i.p.) was administered 60 minutes before formalin injection. Results: There was a statistically significant effect of propranolol and metoprolol on the antinociceptive effect of eslicarbazepine acetate in the second phase (15-39 min after formalin) of the orofacial formalin test (P < 0.001 for propranolol, P = 0.004 for metoprolol). The level of inhibition for propranolol dose 1 mg/ kg was 63% and for 3 mg/kg was 100%. The level of inhibition for metoprolol dose 1 mg/kg was 59% and for dose 2 mg/kg it was 100%. Data were analyzed by one-way ANOVA and Tukey post hoc test.

Conclusion: Experimental results suggest a possible role of adrenergic neurotransmission by ß-receptors in the antinociceptive effect of eslicarbazepine acetate in trigeminal pain model. Relying on the available reviewed literature regarding the role of ß-receptors in pain models, it is our assumption that this response is more likely to be mediated by ß1-receptors. While the detailed mechanism of action is still unknown, the effect is most likely mediated by ß-receptors in the central nervous system, but we cannot exclude the possible role of peripheral ß-receptors and therefore further studies must be performed.

Questions & answers Please, tell us a little bit more about yourself. My name is Veljko Cvetkovic. I am a final year student at the Faculty of Pharmacy - University of Belgrade, in Serbia. What interests me the most is pharmacology and drug development. Recently, I became enthusiastic about biotechnology and working in the pharmaceutical industry. Little did I know, that after this research my career goal would spin to such a different direction. I am very glad that I got the opportunity to experience different aspects of pharmacy during my studies and finally decide which way should I go. Tell us a bit more about your research and its significance. Eslicarbazepine acetate (ESL) is a novel antiseizure drug, and like its precursor, carbamazepine, it has the same antiseizure mechanism of action. However, there were no data on its analgesic mechanism of action. Knowing that the former drug works for migraine prophylaxis, we decided to assess if adrenergic neurotransmission is relevant in ESL's analgesic mechanism of action in trigeminal pain model. Data which confirmed our hypothesis could point at a new clinical implication for ESL, considering the role of ß-adrenergic receptors as a target for trigeminal pain prophylaxis, such as a migraine. What was the biggest challenge whilst carrying out the research and how did you overcome that? The data we got during the experiment was clear to understand. However, the literature

data we assessed on ß-adrenergic receptors in pain models were thin and at times contradictory. Luckily, my coauthor and I, had great mentors who stepped in at the right time. Not only they helped us with selecting the most relevant data and interpreting it properly, but also pointed us in the right direction when it came to deducing the possible mechanisms of action of ESL in trigeminal pain pathway. In your opinion, what is the benefit of joining ESSP and what advice do you have for students undertaking research in the future? I honestly believe that this is a great opportunity to share your research and passion for the subject as a student and get feedback from other professionals in the same area of research. This helps us connect with each other which is crucial for accomplishing as best results as possible. My experience is that you should work in the area you clearly understand, with people who understand you. Tackle the subject you find challenging. Find a mentor who will jump in when you are drowning in the data, not the one who will research and write a paper instead of you. Work and connect with people who share the similar ideas and implement each other's thoughts into new ones and the outcome will surely surprise you. On top of that, make sure that the research you do is something new and can create an impact.


European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association

The effect of over the counter drugs on urine amphetamine screening Authors: Vesna Lukić, Marina Janjetović, Milica Jokić, Dragana Bundalo Mentor: Assist. Prof. Danijela Đukić-Ćosić, TA Nina Smoljanović Department of Toxicology, Faculty of Medicine (Pharmacy), University of Banjaluka

Background: The amphetamines are a group of synthetic drugs that produce stimulating effects on both central and autonomic nervous system. These psychoactive substances are widely abused, with significant personal and public health consequences. Urine testing for the presence of amphetamine is routinely used, not only in drug rehabilitation programs, but also when testing employees in the workplace, athletes and students. For these purposes, immunochromatographic tests are the most frequently used method. Due to the low selectivity of this method, interference with structurally similar compounds is possible. Literature data indicate that certain drugs can lead to false positive results for amphetamine.

of 18 urine samples, as well as control samples were negative for the presence of amphetamine. Conclusion: The results of this study showed that there is no cross-reactivity between used drugs or their metabolites and the antibodies specific for amphetamine. This indicates that examined immunochromatographic test strips were not prone to drug-related test interference associated with selected medicinal products. Although immunochromatography can be used to get quick preliminary results, final results must be confirmed with additional methods (GC-MS, LC-MS).

Keywords: amphetamine, false-positive Aim: Examine the effect of commonly results, immunochromatography method used OTC products containing ranitidine, pseudoephedrine and oxymetazoline on the occurrence of false-positive amphetamine urine screens. Materials and Methods: The study involved nine healthy volunteers of different age. The participants were divided into three groups. Over the period of three days each group was taking one of these substances: ranitidine (Ranibos® tablets), pseudoephedrine (Rhinostop® tablets), and oxymetazoline (Operil® nose drops), according to the predefined regimen. Immediately before and after the three-day intake of OTC products, samples of firstmorning urine were collected. Urinalysis was conducted with immunochromatographic test strips GabControl® AMP and AbuGnost® AMP. Results: In this study, results of analysis

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