Starting Dose Calculation for Medicinal Plants in Animal Studies; Recommendation of a Simple and Reliable Method

Document Type : Original paper


1 Traditional and Complementary Medicine Research Center, Addiction Institute, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran. School of Medicine, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran.

2 Traditional and Complementary Medicine Research Center, Addiction Institute, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran. Adjunct Research Fellow, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia.

3 Department of Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran.


Background and purpose: Research studies indicate that almost 80% of the present day drugs are derived directly or indirectly from medicinal plants. The estimation of a safe starting dose is a concern when a new substance is to be investigated including medicinal plants, in clinical and laboratory studies. This study was intended to explore a simple and reliable method of calculating the starting dose for animal studies. Actually, the method helps to calculate the accurate animal dose based on Persian medicine. Methods: After the botanical names were identified, the dosages of the plants recommended in Persian medicine (PM) were converted to gram unit. Then the body surface area normalization method (BSA) was used for an allometric dose translation. Results: Ninety eight plants were identified and their effective parts and dosages were determined based Persian medicine. Conclusions: Dosing calculations for drugs could be performed based both on BSA method and experiences of ancient Persian scholars. 


Main Subjects

[1] Yuan R, Lin Y. Traditional Chinese medicine: an approach to scientific proof and clinical validation. Pharmacol Ther. 2000; 86(2): 191-198.
[2] Patwardhan B, Mashelkar RA. Traditional medicine-inspired approaches to drug discovery: can Ayurveda show the way forward? Drug Discov Today. 2009; 14(15): 804-811.
[3] World Health Organization. WHO publishes list of top emerging diseases likely to cause major epidemics. Geneva: World Health Organization, 2015.
[4] Fabricant DS, Farnsworth NR. The value of plants used in traditional medicine for drug discovery. Environ Health Perspect. 2001; 109(1): 69-75.
[5] Azadbakht M, Hosseini AS, Fakhri M. Necessity of standardization of medicinal plant extracts in investigations and the manner to perform it. Razi J Med Sci. 2017; 23(152): 8-17.
[6] Mirzaee F, Hosseini A, Jouybari HB, Davoodi A, Azadbakht M. Medicinal, biological and phytochemical properties of Gentiana species. J Tradit Complement Med. 2017; 7(4): 400-408.
[7] Davoodi A, Ebrahimzadeh MA, Fathalinezhad F, Khoshvishkaie E. Antibacterial activity of Mespilus germanica leaf extract. J Mazandaran Univ Med Sci. 2017; 26(146): 173-178.
[8] Patwardhan B, Warude D, Pushpangadan P, Bhatt N. Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine: a comparative overview. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2005; 2(4): 465-473.
[9] Fakhri M, Davoodi A, Parviz M, Ghadi ZS, Mousavinasab SN, Farhadi R, Azadbakht M. Characterization and HPLC analysis of manna from some Cotoneaster species. Int J Pharm Sci Res. 2017; 8(12): 5360-5366.
[10] Blondeau S, Do Q, Scior T, Bernard P, Morin-Allory L. Reverse pharmacognosy: another way to harness the generosity of nature. Curr Pharm Des. 2010; 16(15): 1682-1696.
[11] Do QT, Bernard P. Reverse pharmacognosy: a new concept for accelerating natural drug discovery. Adv Phyt. 2006; 2(1): 1-20.
[12] Le Tourneau C, Stathis A, Vidal L, Moore MJ, Siu LL. Choice of starting dose for molecularly targeted agents evaluated in first-in-human phase I cancer clinical trials. J Clin Oncol. 2010; 28(8): 1401-1407.
[13] Hosseini A, Azadbakht M, Yousofpoor M. ‘Maoljobon’ a drug in Iranian traditional medicine. J Mazandaran Univ Med Sci. 2017; 26(146): 269-278.
[14] Aghili Khorasani M. Makhzan ol Advieh. Tehran: Tehran University of Medical Sciences Press, 2009.
[15] Freireich EJ, Gehan E, Rall D, Schmidt L, Skipper H. Quantitative comparison of toxicity of anticancer agents in mouse, rat, hamster, dog, monkey, and man. Cancer Chem Rep. 1966; 50(4): 219-225.
[16] Reagan-Shaw S, Nihal M, Ahmad N. Dose translation from animal to human studies revisited. Fed Am Soc Exp Biol J. 2008; 22(3): 659-661.
[17] Food & Drug Administration. Estimating the safe starting dose in clinical trials for therapeutics in adult healthy volunteers. Rockville: Food & Drug Administration, 2005.