Actos (Page 4 of 7)


12.1 Mechanism of Action

ACTOS is a thiazolidinedione that depends on the presence of insulin for its mechanism of action. ACTOS decreases insulin resistance in the periphery and in the liver resulting in increased insulin-dependent glucose disposal and decreased hepatic glucose output. Pioglitazone is not an insulin secretagogue. Pioglitazone is an agonist for peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPARγ). PPAR receptors are found in tissues important for insulin action such as adipose tissue, skeletal muscle, and liver. Activation of PPARγ nuclear receptors modulates the transcription of a number of insulin responsive genes involved in the control of glucose and lipid metabolism.

In animal models of diabetes, pioglitazone reduces the hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, and hypertriglyceridemia characteristic of insulin-resistant states such as type 2 diabetes. The metabolic changes produced by pioglitazone result in increased responsiveness of insulin-dependent tissues and are observed in numerous animal models of insulin resistance.

Because pioglitazone enhances the effects of circulating insulin (by decreasing insulin resistance), it does not lower blood glucose in animal models that lack endogenous insulin.

12.2 Pharmacodynamics

Clinical studies demonstrate that ACTOS improves insulin sensitivity in insulin-resistant patients. ACTOS enhances cellular responsiveness to insulin, increases insulin-dependent glucose disposal and improves hepatic sensitivity to insulin. In patients with type 2 diabetes, the decreased insulin resistance produced by ACTOS results in lower plasma glucose concentrations, lower plasma insulin concentrations, and lower HbA1c values. In controlled clinical trials, ACTOS had an additive effect on glycemic control when used in combination with a sulfonylurea, metformin, or insulin [see Clinical Studies (14.2)].

Patients with lipid abnormalities were included in clinical trials with ACTOS. Overall, patients treated with ACTOS had mean decreases in serum triglycerides, mean increases in HDL cholesterol, and no consistent mean changes in LDL and total cholesterol. There is no conclusive evidence of macrovascular benefit with ACTOS or any other antidiabetic medication [see Warnings and Precautions (5.9) and Adverse Reactions (6.1)].

In a 26-week, placebo-controlled, dose-ranging monotherapy study, mean serum triglycerides decreased in the 15 mg, 30 mg, and 45 mg ACTOS dose groups compared to a mean increase in the placebo group. Mean HDL cholesterol increased to a greater extent in patients treated with ACTOS than in the placebo-treated patients. There were no consistent differences for LDL and total cholesterol in patients treated with ACTOS compared to placebo (Table 14).

Table 14. Lipids in a 26-Week Placebo-Controlled Monotherapy Dose-Ranging Study
Placebo ACTOS15 mgOnce Daily ACTOS30 mgOnce Daily ACTOS45 mgOnce Daily
Adjusted for baseline, pooled center, and pooled center by treatment interaction
p < 0.05 versus placebo
Triglycerides (mg/dL) N=79 N=79 N=84 N=77
Baseline (mean) 263 284 261 260
Percent change from baseline (adjusted mean *) 4.8% -9.0% -9.6% -9.3%
HDL Cholesterol (mg/dL) N=79 N=79 N=83 N=77
Baseline (mean) 42 40 41 41
Percent change from baseline (adjusted mean *) 8.1% 14.1% 12.2% 19.1%
LDL Cholesterol (mg/dL) N=65 N=63 N=74 N=62
Baseline (mean) 139 132 136 127
Percent change from baseline (adjusted mean *) 4.8% 7.2% 5.2% 6.0%
Total Cholesterol (mg/dL) N=79 N=79 N=84 N=77
Baseline (mean) 225 220 223 214
Percent change from baseline (adjusted mean *) 4.4% 4.6% 3.3% 6.4%

In the two other monotherapy studies (16 weeks and 24 weeks) and in combination therapy studies with sulfonylurea (16 weeks and 24 weeks), metformin (16 weeks and 24 weeks ) or insulin (16 weeks and 24 weeks), the results were generally consistent with the data above.

12.3 Pharmacokinetics

Following once daily administration of ACTOS, steady-state serum concentrations of both pioglitazone and its major active metabolites, M-III (keto derivative of pioglitazone) and M-IV (hydroxyl derivative of pioglitazone), are achieved within 7 days. At steady-state, M-III and M-IV reach serum concentrations equal to or greater than that of pioglitazone. At steady-state, in both healthy volunteers and patients with type 2 diabetes, pioglitazone comprises approximately 30% to 50% of the peak total pioglitazone serum concentrations (pioglitazone plus active metabolites) and 20% to 25% of the total AUC.

Maximum serum concentration (Cmax ), AUC, and trough serum concentrations (Cmin ) for pioglitazone and M-III and M-IV, increased proportionally with administered doses of 15 mg and 30 mg per day.

Absorption: Following oral administration of pioglitazone hydrochloride, peak concentrations of pioglitazone were observed within 2 hours. Food slightly delays the time to peak serum concentration (Tmax ) to 3 to 4 hours, but does not alter the extent of absorption (AUC).

Distribution: The mean apparent volume of distribution (Vd/F) of pioglitazone following single-dose administration is 0.63 ± 0.41 (mean ± SD) L/kg of body weight. Pioglitazone is extensively protein bound (> 99%) in human serum, principally to serum albumin. Pioglitazone also binds to other serum proteins, but with lower affinity. M-III and M-IV are also extensively bound (> 98%) to serum albumin.

Metabolism: Pioglitazone is extensively metabolized by hydroxylation and oxidation; the metabolites also partly convert to glucuronide or sulfate conjugates. Metabolites M-III and M-IV are the major circulating active metabolites in humans.

In vitro data demonstrate that multiple CYP isoforms are involved in the metabolism of pioglitazone. The cytochrome P450 isoforms involved are CYP2C8 and, to a lesser degree, CYP3A4 with additional contributions from a variety of other isoforms including the mainly extrahepatic CYP1A1. In vivo study of pioglitazone in combination with gemfibrozil, a strong CYP2C8 inhibitor showed that pioglitazone is a CYP2C8 substrate [see Dosage and Administration (2.3) and Drug Interactions (7)]. Urinary 6ß-hydroxycortisol/cortisol ratios measured in patients treated with ACTOS showed that pioglitazone is not a strong CYP3A4 enzyme inducer.

Excretion and Elimination: Following oral administration, approximately 15% to 30% of the pioglitazone dose is recovered in the urine. Renal elimination of pioglitazone is negligible, and the drug is excreted primarily as metabolites and their conjugates. It is presumed that most of the oral dose is excreted into the bile either unchanged or as metabolites and eliminated in the feces.

The mean serum half-life of pioglitazone and its metabolites (M-III and M-IV) range from 3 to 7 hours and 16 to 24 hours, respectively. Pioglitazone has an apparent clearance, CL/F, calculated to be 5 to 7 L/hr.

Renal Impairment: The serum elimination half-life of pioglitazone, M-III, and M-IV remains unchanged in patients with moderate (creatinine clearance 30 to 50 mL/min) and severe (creatinine clearance < 30 mL/min) renal impairment when compared to subjects with normal renal function. Therefore, no dose adjustment in patients with renal impairment is required.

Hepatic Impairment: Compared with healthy controls, subjects with impaired hepatic function (Child-Turcotte-Pugh Grade B/C) have an approximate 45% reduction in pioglitazone and total pioglitazone (pioglitazone, M-III and M-IV) mean peak concentrations but no change in the mean AUC values. Therefore, no dose adjustment in patients with hepatic impairment is required.

There are postmarketing reports of liver failure with ACTOS and clinical trials have generally excluded patients with serum ALT >2.5× the upper limit of the reference range. Use caution in patients with liver disease [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)].

Geriatric Patients: In healthy elderly subjects, peak serum concentrations of pioglitazone are not significantly different, but AUC values are approximately 21% higher than those achieved in younger subjects. The mean terminal half-life values of pioglitazone were also longer in elderly subjects (about 10 hours) as compared to younger subjects (about 7 hours). These changes were not of a magnitude that would be considered clinically relevant.

Pediatric Patients: Safety and efficacy of pioglitazone in pediatric patients have not been established. ACTOS is not recommended for use in pediatric patients [see Use in Specific Populations (8.4)].

Gender: The mean Cmax and AUC values of pioglitazone were increased 20% to 60% in women compared to men. In controlled clinical trials, HbA1c decreases from baseline were generally greater for females than for males (average mean difference in HbA1c 0.5%). Because therapy should be individualized for each patient to achieve glycemic control, no dose adjustment is recommended based on gender alone.

Ethnicity: Pharmacokinetic data among various ethnic groups are not available.

Drug-Drug Interactions

Table 15: Effect of Pioglitazone Coadministration on Systemic Exposure of Other Drugs
Co-administered Drug
Pioglitazone DosageRegimen (mg)* Name and Dose Regimens Change in AUC Change in Cmax
Daily for 7 days unless otherwise noted
% change (with/without coadministered drug and no change = 0%); symbols of ↑ and ↓ indicate the exposure increase and decrease, respectively.
45 mg(N = 12) Warfarin
Daily loading then maintenance doses based PT and INR values Quick’s Value = 35 ± 5% R-Warfarin ↓ 3% R-Warfarin ↓ 2%
S-Warfarin ↓ 1% S-Warfarin ↑ 1%
45 mg(N = 12) Digoxin
0.200 mg twice daily (loading dose) then0.250 mg daily (maintenance dose, 7 days) ↑ 15% ↑ 17%
45 mg dailyfor 21 days(N = 35) Oral Contraceptive
[Ethinyl Estradiol (EE) 0.035 mg plusNorethindrone (NE) 1 mg] for 21 days EE ↓11% EE ↓13%
NE ↑ 3% NE ↓ 7%
45 mg(N = 23) Fexofenadine
60 mg twice daily for 7 days ↑ 30% ↑ 37%
45 mg(N = 14) Glipizide
5 mg daily for 7 days ↓ 3% ↓ 8%
45 mg dailyfor 8 days(N = 16) Metformin
1000 mg single dose on 8 days ↓ 3% ↓ 5%
45 mg(N = 21) Midazolam
7.5 mg single dose on day 15 ↓ 26% ↓ 26%
45 mg(N = 24) Ranitidine
150 mg twice daily for 7 days ↑ 1% ↓1%
45 mg dailyfor 4 days(N = 24) Nifedipine ER
30 mg daily for 4 days ↓ 13% ↓ 17%
45 mg(N = 25) Atorvastatin Ca
80 mg daily for 7 days ↓ 14% ↓ 23%
45 mg(N = 22) Theophylline
400 mg twice daily for 7 days ↑ 2% ↑ 5%
Table 16: Effect of Coadministered Drugs on Pioglitazone Systemic Exposure
Coadministered Drug and Dosage Regimen Pioglitazone
Dose Regimen(mg)* Changein AUC Changein Cmax
Daily for 7 days unless otherwise noted
Mean ratio (with/without coadministered drug and no change = 1-fold) % change (with/without coadministered drug and no change = 0%); symbols of ↑ and ↓ indicate the exposure increase and decrease, respectively.
The half-life of pioglitazone increased from 6.5 h to 15.1 h in the presence of gemfibrozil [see Dosage and Administration (2.3) and Drug Interactions (7]
Gemfibrozil 600 mgtwice daily for 2 days(N = 12) 30 mgsingle dose ↑ 3.4-fold ↑ 6%
Ketoconazole 200 mgtwice daily for 7 days(N = 28) 45 mg ↑ 34% ↑ 14%
Rifampin 600 mgdaily for 5 days(N = 10) 30 mgsingle dose ↓ 54% ↓ 5%
Fexofenadine 60 mgtwice daily for 7 days(N = 23) 45 mg ↑ 1% 0%
Ranitidine 150 mgtwice daily for 4 days(N = 23) 45 mg ↓ 13% ↓ 16%
Nifedipine ER 30 mgdaily for 7 days(N = 23) 45 mg ↑ 5% ↑ 4%
Atorvastatin Ca 80 mgdaily for 7 days(N = 24) 45 mg ↓ 24% ↓ 31%
Theophylline 400 mgtwice daily for 7 days(N = 22) 45 mg ↓ 4% ↓ 2%

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