Hersh, Elliot V
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PublicationAn Evaluation of 10 Percent and 20 Percent Benzocaine Gels in Patients With Acute Toothaches: Efficacy, Tolerability and Compliance With Label Dose Administration Directions(2013-05-01) Hersh, Elliot V; Kuperstein, Arthur S; Stoopler, Eric T; Ciancio, Sebastian G; Moore, Paul A; Boynes, Sean G; Levine, Steven C; Casamassimo, Paul; Leyva, Rina; Mathew, Tanya; Shibly, Othman; Creighton, Paul; Jeffers, Gary E; Corby, Patricia M. A; Turetzky, Stanley N; Papas, Athena; Wallen, Jillian; Idzik-Starr, Cynthia; Gordon, Sharon MBackground The authors evaluated the efficacy and tolerability of 10 percent and 20 percent benzocaine gels compared with those of a vehicle (placebo) gel for the temporary relief of toothache pain. They also assessed the compliance with the label dose administration directions on the part of participants with toothache pain. Methods Under double-masked conditions, 576 participants self-applied study gel to an open tooth cavity and surrounding oral tissues. Participants evaluated their pain intensity and pain relief for 120 minutes. The authors determined the amount of gel the participants applied. Results The responders’ rates (the primary efficacy parameter), defined as the percentage of participants who had an improvement in pain intensity as exhibited by a pain score reduction of at least one unit on the dental pain scale from baseline for two consecutive assessments any time between the five- and 20-minute points, were 87.3 percent, 80.7 percent and 70.4 percent, respectively, for 20 percent benzocaine gel, 10 percent benzocaine gel and vehicle gel. Both benzocaine gels were significantly (P ≤ .05) better than vehicle gel; the 20 percent benzocaine gel also was significantly (P ≤ .05) better than the 10 percent benzocaine gel. The mean amount of gel applied was 235.6 milligrams, with 88.2 percent of participants applying 400 mg or less. Conclusions Both 10 percent and 20 percent benzocaine gels were more efficacious than the vehicle gel, and the 20 percent benzocaine gel was more efficacious than the 10 percent benzocaine gel. All treatments were well tolerated by participants. Practical Implications Patients can use 10 percent and 20 percent benzocaine gels to temporarily treat toothache pain safely. PublicationA Pair of "ACEs"(International Association for Dental Research and American Association for Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Research 2021, 2022) Hersh, Elliot VThe emergence of the COVID-19 viral pandemic has generated a renewed interest in pharmacologic agents that target the renin angiotensin system (RAS). Angiotensin-converting enzyme 1 (ACE1) inhibitors decrease the synthesis of angiotensin II (Ang II) from its precursor angiotensin I and inhibit the breakdown of bradykinin, while Ang II receptor blockers antagonize the action of Ang II at the receptor level downstream. The actions of both classes of drugs lead to vasodilation, a blunting of sympathetic drive and a reduction in aldosterone release, all beneficial effects in hypertension and congestive heart failure. ACE2 cleaves the vasoconstrictor Ang II to produce the anti-inflammatory cytoprotective angiotensin 1–7 (Ang 1–7) peptide, which functions through the G protein–coupled receptor MAS to counteract the pathophysiologic effects induced by Ang II via its receptors, including vasoconstriction, inflammation, hypercoagulation, and fibrosis. SARS-CoV-2 enters human cells by binding ACE2 on the cell surface, decreases ACE2 activity, competes for ACE2 receptor-binding sites, and shifts the RAS toward an overexpression of Ang II, accounting for many of the deleterious effects of the virus. Thus, there is great interest in developing recombinant ACE2 as a therapeutic for prevention or treatment of COVID-19. Notably, ACE2 is highly expressed in the oral cavity, and saliva and dorsum of the tongue are major reservoirs of SARS-CoV-2. Cost effective methods to debulk the virus in the oral cavity may aid in the prevention of viral spread. Here we review the pharmacology of targeted small molecule inhibitors of the RAS and discuss novel approaches to employing ACE2 as a therapeutic for COVID-19.