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LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 228-229

Gulucatime versus glucantime: A serious warning on counterfeit medicines


1 Skin Diseases and Leishmaniasis Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
2 Department of Dermatology, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
3 Student Research Committee, School of Pharmacy, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
4 Student Research Committee, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Date of Submission21-Jul-2019
Date of Acceptance23-Jul-2019
Date of Web Publication27-Dec-2019

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ali Saffaei
Student Research Committee, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran
Iran
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jrpp.JRPP_19_84

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How to cite this article:
Abtahi-Naeini B, Shahmoradi Z, Niknami E, Saffaei A. Gulucatime versus glucantime: A serious warning on counterfeit medicines. J Res Pharm Pract 2019;8:228-9

How to cite this URL:
Abtahi-Naeini B, Shahmoradi Z, Niknami E, Saffaei A. Gulucatime versus glucantime: A serious warning on counterfeit medicines. J Res Pharm Pract [serial online] 2019 [cited 2020 Apr 1];8:228-9. Available from: http://www.jrpp.net/text.asp?2019/8/4/228/274161

Dear Editor,

Cutaneous leishmaniasis is caused by a flagellated parasite and transmitted through a bite by bloodsucking sand-flies.[1] Cutaneous leishmaniasis is characterized by ulcerative skin lesions. This is an endemic disease in the Middle East, especially Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indian, and Nepal.[2] Since the 1940s, pentavalent antimony compounds have been considered as the first line of treatment for all forms of leishmaniasis. Meglumine antimoniate and sodium stibogluconate are the well-known pentavalent antimony agents.[3] Glucantime (Sanofi Aventis, France) is a brand product of meglumine antimoniate, which is supplied in 5 mL colorless ampules with concentration 300 mg/mL. Every five ampules are packed in a box, and there are not any visible particles in Glucantime ampules. In January 2019, a batch of meglumine antimoniate under brand “Gulucatime” is imported to Iran and is distributed between certain health centers. The appearance of this product was the same as pervious “Glucantime” bathes, except the obvious typographical error [Figure 1]. Visible sediment particles in some ampules and improper packaging also were remarkable [Figure 2]. Iranian dermatologists prescribed “Gulucatime” for cutaneous leishmaniasis patients in the mentioned period. However, the clinical outcome was not seen at all, and the clinical situation of patients deteriorated. After a while, the physician suspected of the originality of the “Gulucatime” and similar reports was seen in Pakistan. Finally, the WHO Region of the Eastern Mediterranean confirmed counterfeit meglumine antimoniate (Gulucatime) circulating in Iran and Pakistan.[4] Counterfeit drugs, especially lifesaving drugs, target the health of patients in less developed countries. It is necessary to make stronger state licensure supervision to avoid such disasters.[5] This letter emphasis to aware the physicians regarding counterfeit meglumine antimoniate. The physician should avoid prescribing such medicines if there is any abnormal sign in medicine package, including typographical errors and sediment particles.
Figure 1: (a and b) “Glucantime” ampules versus “Gulucatime” ampules

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Figure 2: Low-quality packaging (a) and visible sediment particles (b) in “Gulucatime” ampules

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Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Steverding D. The history of leishmaniasis. Parasit Vectors 2017;10:82.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Alvar J, Vélez ID, Bern C, Herrero M, Desjeux P, Cano J, et al. Leishmaniasis worldwide and global estimates of its incidence. PLoS One 2012;7:e35671.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Sundar S, Chakravarty J. An update on pharmacotherapy for leishmaniasis. Expert Opin Pharmacother 2015;16:237-52.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
World Health Organization. Falsified Meglumine Antimoniate Ampoules in Iran and Pakistan. World Health Organization; 2019. Available from: https://www.who.int/medicines/publications/drugalerts/drug_alert-7-2019/en/. [Last accessed on 2019 Jun 28].  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Blackstone EA, Fuhr JP Jr., Pociask S. The health and economic effects of counterfeit drugs. Am Health Drug Benefits 2014;7:216-24.  Back to cited text no. 5
    


    Figures

  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]



 

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