SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Pseudoephedrine

Pseudoephedrine is a sympathomimetic drug of the phenethylamine and amphetamine chemical classes. It may be used as a nasal/sinus decongestant, as a stimulant, or as a wakefulness-promoting agent in higher doses, it was first characterized in 1889, by the German chemists Ladenburg and Oelschlägel, who used a sample, isolated from Ephedra vulgaris by the Merck pharmaceutical corporation of Darmstadt, Germany. The salts pseudoephedrine hydrochloride and pseudoephedrine sulfate are found in many over-the-counter preparations, either as a single ingredient or in a fixed-dose combination with one or more additional active ingredients such as antihistamines, dextromethorphan, paracetamol or an NSAID. Pseudoephedrine is a stimulant, but it is well known for shrinking swollen nasal mucous membranes, so it is used as a decongestant, it reduces tissue hyperemia and nasal congestion associated with colds or allergies. Other beneficial effects may include increasing the drainage of sinus secretions, opening of obstructed Eustachian tubes.

The same vasoconstriction action can result in hypertension, a noted side effect of pseudoephedrine. Pseudoephedrine can be used either as topical decongestant. However, due to its stimulating qualities, the oral preparation is more to cause adverse effects, including urinary retention. According to one study, pseudoephedrine may show effectiveness as an antitussive drug. Pseudoephedrine is indicated for the treatment of nasal congestion, sinus congestion and Eustachian tube congestion. Pseudoephedrine is indicated for vasomotor rhinitis, as an adjunct to other agents in the optimum treatment of allergic rhinitis, sinusitis, otitis media, tracheobronchitis. Pseudoephedrine is used as a first-line prophylactic for recurrent priapism. Erection is a parasympathetic response, so the sympathetic action of pseudoephedrine may serve to relieve this condition. Treatment for urinary incontinence is an off-label use for these medications. Common adverse drug reactions associated with pseudoephedrine therapy include central nervous system stimulation, nervousness, excitability and anxiety.

Infrequent ADRs include tachycardia or palpitations. Pseudoephedrine therapy may be associated with mydriasis, arrhythmias, hypertension and ischemic colitis. Pseudoephedrine when combined with other drugs including narcotics, may play a role in the precipitation of episodes of paranoid psychosis, it has been reported that pseudoephedrine, among other sympathomimetic agents, may be associated with the occurrence of stroke. Pseudoephedrine is contraindicated in patients with diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, severe or uncontrolled hypertension, severe coronary artery disease, prostatic hypertrophy, closed angle glaucoma, or by pregnant women; the safety and effectiveness of nasal decongestant use in children is unclear. Concomitant or recent monoamine oxidase inhibitor use can lead to hypertensive reactions, including hypertensive crises; the antihypertensive effects of methyldopa, mecamylamine and veratrum alkaloids may be reduced by sympathomimetics. Beta-adrenergic antagonists may interact with sympathomimetics.

Increase of ectopic pacemaker activity can occur when pseudoephedrine is used concomitantly with digitalis. Antacids increase the rate of pseudoephedrine absorption. Pseudoephedrine is a sympathomimetic amine, its principal mechanism of action relies on its direct action on the adrenergic receptor system. The vasoconstriction that pseudoephedrine produces is believed to be principally an α-adrenergic receptor response. Pseudoephedrine acts on α- and β2-adrenergic receptors, to cause vasoconstriction and relaxation of smooth muscle in the bronchi, respectively. Α-adrenergic receptors are located on the muscles lining the walls of blood vessels. When these receptors are activated, the muscles contract, causing the blood vessels to constrict; the constricted blood vessels now allow less fluid to leave the blood vessels and enter the nose and sinus linings, which results in decreased inflammation of nasal membranes, as well as decreased mucus production. Thus, by constriction of blood vessels those located in the nasal passages, pseudoephedrine causes a decrease in the symptoms of nasal congestion.

Activation of β2-adrenergic receptors produces relaxation of smooth muscle of the bronchi, causing bronchial dilation and in turn decreasing congestion and difficulty breathing. There have been reports of off-label uses of pseudoephedrine for its stimulant properties. Long-distance truck drivers and athletes, for example, have used pseudoephedrine as a stimulant to increase their state of alertness/awareness, its membership in the amphetamine class has made pseudoephedrine a sought-after chemical precursor in the illicit manufacture of methamphetamine and methcathinone. As a result of the increasing regulatory restrictions on the sale and distribution of pseudoephedrine, many pharmaceutical firms have reformulated, or are in the process of reformulating medications to use alternative, but less effective, such as phenylephrine. In the United States, federal laws control the sale of pseudoephedrine-containing products. Many retailers in the US have created corporate policies restricting the sale of pseudoephedrine-containing products.

Their policies restrict s

Commonwealth Star

The Commonwealth Star is a seven-pointed star symbolising the Federation of Australia which came into force on 1 January 1901. Six points of the Star represent the six original states of the Commonwealth of Australia, while the seventh point represents the territories and any other future states of Australia; the original star had only six points. The Commonwealth Star is one of the distinguishing characteristics of the Australian flag, as opposed to the similar flag of New Zealand. Although the term "Federation Star" is used, the term "Commonwealth Star" is the official name; this is because, the name ascribed to the star by the Australian Government when the Australian flag was adopted and such adoption gazetted in the official Government gazette. The Commonwealth Star is found on the Coat of Arms of Australia. On the Australian flag the Star appears in the lower hoist quarter, beneath the representation of the Union flag, as four of the five stars making up the Southern Cross on the fly. In the Coat of Arms, the Star forms the crest, atop a gold wreath.

The Star appears on the badges of the Australian Defence Force and Australian Federal Police, although the badges of the Australian Army, Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force feature the St Edward's Crown, as in the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms. In the event of the country becoming a republic, it has been suggested that the Commonwealth Star replace the Crown; the Star is used on numerous Australian medals, including the National Police Service Medal, the Defence Force Service Medal, the civilian Star of Courage, the Public Service Medal, the Ambulance Service Medal and the Australian Police Medal. With the marriage of Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark to Mary Donaldson in 2004, Princess Mary was honoured with the Order of the Elephant; the chief field of the Crown Princess' coat of arms shows two gold Commonwealth Stars from the Coat of arms of Australia

Buenos Aires (Costa Rica)

The city of Buenos Aires is the capital of the canton of Buenos Aires, which includes 12 districts. It is located in the province of Puntarenas of the Central American country Costa Rica; the city has a connection to the Pan-American Highway and therefore is accessible by car. The city has an airfield, named BAI; the district was inhabited by the Boruca natives. The settlement of peoples of Europeans descent began in 1870, when they began building a road from El Guarco to Boruca; some settlements of different indigenous people of the region are found in the district. Geographically, the district is situated between the Térraba and El Dique rivers and the Talamanca mountain range. One of the attractions of the place are formed spherical granite rocks; the economy is dominated by the cultivation of pineapple. Interesting eco-tourism offers exist, for example, accommodating tourists in the indigenous peoples towns, taking courses in organic agriculture. There are plans to build a dam on the river Térraba to generate electricity.

This would create a lake of considerable dimensions. This project has so far not been carried out due to lack of funding, as well as the opposition of certain indigenous groups. Puntarenas