U of S researchers’ work better informs how drugs are administered

SASKATOON - University of Saskatchewan (U of S) researchers have developed a method to better inform how certain drugs are administered to people to improve the volume and timing of doses. Their work was recently published in the Public Library of Science.

Drs. Carl Wesolowski and Surajith Wanasundara, in the Department of Medical Imaging at the U of S College of Medicine, have developed a new general theory of how water-soluble drugs are handled in the human body. Their theory better captures how and when drug dosages reach the targeted area(s) of the body. With it, they provide a mathematical equation that can be used by a medical professional to help administer drugs more effectively.

“The timing and volume of injections can be better assessed with this method,” said Wesolowski.

His hope is that this new information will make its way onto the packaging of relevant drugs to better guide how they are administered to patients.

“Right now, the information provided on drug packaging is not particularly helpful for determining drug volumes in combination with timing of injections,” he said.

Among the researchers’ findings is that the time it takes for a drug’s half-life to become established is much longer than previously thought—by as much as five to nine times longer than predicted using current theory. The half-life of a drug is the period of time required for the concentration or amount of drug in the body to be reduced by half. The length of half-life varies from one drug to another and this measure is used to determine proper dosages and their timing.

“It has been common to think that a drug rapidly distributes in the body. And although it is true that drug distribution in the body is very fast initially, this redistribution also slows down rapidly so that rather than, for example, taking 90 minutes to reach the body’s tissues, it takes half a day to do so,” Wesolowski said.

Their model is already patented in the United States and some European nations, and is patent-pending in Canada. Co-authors of the paper with Wesolowski and Wanasundara include Drs. Michal Wesolowski and Paul Babyn, also in the Department of Medical Imaging at the College of Medicine. The work was funded by the Sylvia Fedoruk Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation and the U of S College of Medicine.


For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Kate Blau
Communications Specialist
College of Medicine
University of Saskatchewan

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