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Antibiotics for Childhood Pneumonia - Do We Really Know How Long to Treat?
Anne B Chang 1, Keith Grimwood 1
2020 Jul 2
Background: The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends oral amoxicillin for patients who have pneumonia with tachypnea, yet trial data indicate that not using amoxicillin to treat this condition may be noninferior to using amoxicillin.
Methods: We conducted a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled noninferiority trial involving children at primary health care centers in low-income communities in Karachi, Pakistan. Children who were 2 to 59 months of age and who met WHO criteria for nonsevere pneumonia with tachypnea were randomly assigned to a 3-day course of a suspension of amoxicillin (the active control) of 50 mg per milliliter or matched volume of placebo (the test regimen), according to WHO weight bands (500 mg every 12 hours for a weight of 4 to <10 kg, 1000 mg every 12 hours for a weight of 10 to <14 kg, or 1500 mg every 12 hours for a weight of 14 to <20 kg). The primary outcome was treatment failure during the 3-day course of amoxicillin or placebo. The prespecified noninferiority margin was 1.75 percentage points.
Results: From November 9, 2014, through November 30, 2017, a total of 4002 children underwent randomization (1999 in the placebo group and 2003 in the amoxicillin group). In the per-protocol analysis, the incidence of treatment failure was 4.9% among placebo recipients (95 of 1927 children) and 2.6% among amoxicillin recipients (51 of 1929 children) (between-group difference, 2.3 percentage points; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.9 to 3.7). Results were similar in the intention-to-treat analysis. The presence of fever and wheeze predicted treatment failure. The number needed to treat to prevent one treatment failure was 44 (95% CI, 31 to 80). One patient (<0.1%) in each group died. Relapse occurred in 40 children (2.2%) in the placebo group and in 58 children (3.1%) in the amoxicillin group.
Conclusions: Among children younger than 5 years of age with nonsevere pneumonia, the frequency of treatment failure was higher in the placebo group than in the amoxicillin group, a difference that did not meet the noninferiority margin for placebo. (Funded by the Joint Global Health Trials Scheme [of the Department for International Development, Medical Research Council, and Wellcome] and others; RETAPP ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02372461.).
Randomized Trial of Amoxicillin for Pneumonia in Pakistan
Fyezah Jehan 1, Imran Nisar 1, Salima Kerai 1, Benazir Balouch 1, Nick Brown 1, Najeeb Rahman 1, Arjumand Rizvi 1, Yasir Shafiq 1, Anita K M Zaidi 1
2020 Jul 2
Background: Evidence regarding the appropriate duration of treatment with antibiotic agents in children with pneumonia in low-resource settings in Africa is lacking.
Methods: We conducted a double-blind, randomized, controlled, noninferiority trial in Lilongwe, Malawi, to determine whether treatment with amoxicillin for 3 days is less effective than treatment for 5 days in children with chest-indrawing pneumonia (cough lasting <14 days or difficulty breathing, along with visible indrawing of the chest wall with or without fast breathing for age). Children not infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) who were 2 to 59 months of age and had chest-indrawing pneumonia were randomly assigned to receive amoxicillin twice daily for either 3 days or 5 days. Children were followed for 14 days. The primary outcome was treatment failure by day 6; noninferiority of the 3-day regimen to the 5-day regimen would be shown if the percentage of children with treatment failure in the 3-day group was no more than 1.5 times that in the 5-day group. Prespecified secondary analyses included assessment of treatment failure or relapse by day 14.
Results: From March 29, 2016, to April 1, 2019, a total of 3000 children underwent randomization: 1497 children were assigned to the 3-day group, and 1503 to the 5-day group. Among children with day 6 data available, treatment failure had occurred in 5.9% in the 3-day group (85 of 1442 children) and in 5.2% (75 of 1456) in the 5-day group (adjusted difference, 0.7 percentage points; 95% confidence interval [CI], -0.9 to 2.4) – a result that satisfied the criterion for noninferiority of the 3-day regimen to the 5-day regimen. Among children with day 14 data available, 176 of 1411 children (12.5%) in the 3-day group and 154 of 1429 (10.8%) in the 5-day group had had treatment failure by day 6 or relapse by day 14 (between-group difference, 1.7 percentage points; 95% CI, -0.7 to 4.1). The percentage of children with serious adverse events was similar in the two groups (9.8% in the 3-day group and 8.8% in the 5-day group).
Conclusions: In HIV-uninfected Malawian children, treatment with amoxicillin for chest-indrawing pneumonia for 3 days was noninferior to treatment for 5 days. (Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02678195.).
Amoxicillin for 3 or 5 Days for Chest-Indrawing Pneumonia in Malawian Children
Amy-Sarah Ginsburg 1, Tisungane Mvalo 1, Evangelyn Nkwopara 1, Eric D McCollum 1, Melda Phiri 1, Robert Schmicker 1, Jun Hwang 1, Chifundo B Ndamala 1, Ajib Phiri 1, Norman Lufesi 1, Susanne May 1
2020 Jul 2;