September 29, 2009

Tests needed for ‘dose dumping’ drugs

A Swedish researcher says drugs that may cause dose dumping, releasing medication in an unsafe manner in those who have drunk alcohol, need to be tested.

Hans Lennernas, a professor in Biopharmaceutics at Uppsala University in Sweden, says some controlled release pills and capsules are susceptible to dose dumping.

Lennernas says a formulation of the pain medication hydromorphone is one example of dose dumping. Testing revealed alcohol intake caused the risk of overdose and the medication has been removed from the U.S. market, Lennernas says.

However, Lennernas notes a generic oxycodone product that most likely leads to dose dumping in patients is currently on the market in the European Union.

His review of existing studies, published in Molecular Pharmaceutics, finds gastrointestinal and other factors involved in dose dumping to be highly variable.

Lennernas concludes tests should be reformulated to include -- at the very least -- a two-hour period of lab testing in a range of alcohol strengths.