Author(s): Shimizu M, Uno T, Sugawara K, Tateishi T
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Abstract AIMS: Fexofenadine is a substrate of several drug transporters including P-glycoprotein. Our objective was to evaluate the possible effects of two P-glycoprotein inhibitors, itraconazole and diltiazem, on the pharmacokinetics of fexofenadine, a putative probe of P-glycoprotein activity in vivo, and compare the inhibitory effect between the two in healthy volunteers. METHODS: In a randomized three-phase crossover study, eight healthy volunteers were given oral doses of 100 mg itraconazole twice daily, 100 mg diltiazem twice daily or a placebo capsule twice daily (control) for 5 days. On the morning of day 5 each subject was given 120 mg fexofenadine, and plasma concentrations and urinary excretion of fexofenadine were measured up to 48 h after dosing. RESULTS: Itraconazole pretreatment significantly increased mean (+/-SD) peak plasma concentration (Cmax) of fexofenadine from 699 (+/-366) ng ml-1 to 1346 (+/-561) ng ml-1 (95\% CI of differences 253, 1040; P<0.005) and the area under the plasma concentration-time curve [AUC0,infinity] from 4133 (+/-1776) ng ml-1 h to 11287 (+/-4552) ng ml-1 h (95\% CI 3731, 10575; P<0.0001). Elimination half-life and renal clearance in the itraconazole phase were not altered significantly compared with those in the control phase. In contrast, diltiazem pretreatment did not affect Cmax (704+/-316 ng ml-1, 95\% CI -145, 155), AUC0, infinity (4433+/-1565 ng ml-1 h, 95\% CI -1353, 754), or other pharmacokinetic parameters of fexofenadine. CONCLUSIONS: Although some drug transporters other than P-glycoprotein are thought to play an important role in fexofenadine pharmacokinetics, itraconazole pretreatment increased fexofenadine exposure, probably due to the reduced first-pass effect by inhibiting the P-glycoprotein activity. As diltiazem pretreatment did not alter fexofenadine pharmacokinetics, therapeutic doses of diltiazem are unlikely to affect the P-glycoprotein activity in vivo.
This article was published in Br J Clin Pharmacol
and referenced in Journal of Bioequivalence & Bioavailability