Cetirizine Hydrochloride

CETIRIZINE HYDROCHLORIDE- cetirizine hydrochloride solution
Taro Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc.

For Oral Use

Rx only

DESCRIPTION

Cetirizine hydrochloride is an orally active and selective H1 -receptor antagonist. The chemical name is (±) — [2- [4- [ (4-chlorophenyl) phenylmethyl]-1-piperazinyl] ethoxy]acetic acid, dihydrochloride. Cetirizine hydrochloride is a racemic compound with an empirical formula of C21 H25 ClN2 O3 ∙2HCl. The molecular weight is 461.82 and the chemical structure is shown below:

Chemical Structure
(click image for full-size original)

Cetirizine hydrochloride is a white, crystalline powder and is water soluble. Cetirizine hydrochloride oral solution is a colorless to slightly yellow oral solution containing cetirizine hydrochloride at a concentration of 1 mg/mL (5 mg/5 mL) for oral administration. The pH is between 4 and 5. The inactive ingredients of the oral solution are: artificial grape flavor, glacial acetic acid, glycerin, methylparaben, natural and artificial banana flavor, propylene glycol, propylparaben, purified water, sodium acetate (anhydrous), sucrose.

CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY

Mechanism of Actions

Cetirizine, a human metabolite of hydroxyzine, is an antihistamine; its principal effects are mediated via selective inhibition of peripheral H1 receptors. The antihistaminic activity of cetirizine has been clearly documented in a variety of animal and human models. In vivo and ex vivo animal models have shown negligible anticholinergic and antiserotonergic activity. In clinical studies, however, dry mouth was more common with cetirizine than with placebo. In vitro receptor binding studies have shown no measurable affinity for other than H1 receptors. Autoradiographic studies with radiolabeled cetirizine in the rat have shown negligible penetration into the brain. Ex vivo experiments in the mouse have shown that systemically administered cetirizine does not significantly occupy cerebral H1 receptors.

Pharmacokinetics

Absorption

Cetirizine was rapidly absorbed with a time to maximum concentration (Tmax ) of approximately 1 hour following oral administration of tablets or oral solution in adults. Comparable bioavailability was found between the tablet and oral solution dosage forms. When healthy volunteers were administered multiple doses of cetirizine (10 mg tablets once daily for 10 days), a mean peak plasma concentration (Cmax ) of 311 ng/mL was observed. No accumulation was observed. Cetirizine pharmacokinetics were linear for oral doses ranging from 5 to 60 mg. Food had no effect on the extent of cetirizine exposure (AUC) but Tmax was delayed by 1.7 hours and Cmax was decreased by 23% in the presence of food.

Distribution

The mean plasma protein binding of cetirizine is 93%, independent of concentration in the range of 25 to 1000 ng/mL, which includes the therapeutic plasma levels observed.

Metabolism

A mass balance study in 6 healthy male volunteers indicated that 70% of the administered radioactivity was recovered in the urine and 10% in the feces. Approximately 50% of the radioactivity was identified in the urine as unchanged drug. Most of the rapid increase in peak plasma radioactivity was associated with parent drug, suggesting a low degree of first-pass metabolism. Cetirizine is metabolized to a limited extent by oxidative O-dealkylation to a metabolite with negligible antihistaminic activity. The enzyme or enzymes responsible for this metabolism have not been identified.

Elimination

The mean elimination half-life in 146 healthy volunteers across multiple pharmacokinetic studies was 8.3 hours and the apparent total body clearance for cetirizine was approximately 53 mL/min.

Interaction Studies

Pharmacokinetic interaction studies with cetirizine in adults were conducted with pseudoephedrine, antipyrine, ketoconazole, erythromycin and azithromycin. No interactions were observed. In a multiple dose study of theophylline (400 mg once daily for 3 days) and cetirizine (20 mg once daily for 3 days), a 16% decrease in the clearance of cetirizine was observed. The disposition of theophylline was not altered by concomitant cetirizine administration.

Special Populations

Pediatric Patients

In pediatric patients aged 2 to 5 years who received 5 mg of cetirizine, the mean Cmax was 660 ng/mL. Based on cross-study comparisons, the weight normalized apparent total body clearance was 81 to 111% greater and the elimination half-life was 33 to 41% shorter in this pediatric population than in adults. In pediatric patients aged 6 to 23 months who received a single dose of 0.25 mg/kg cetirizine oral solution (mean dose 2.3 mg), the mean Cmax was 390 ng/mL. Based on cross-study comparisons, the weight-normalized, apparent total body clearance was 304% greater and the elimination half-life was 63% shorter in this pediatric population compared to adults. The average AUC(0-t ) in children 6 months to <2 years of age receiving the maximum dose of cetirizine solution (2.5 mg twice a day) is expected to be two-fold higher than that observed in adults receiving a dose of 10 mg cetirizine tablets once a day.

Effect of Gender

The effect of gender on cetirizine pharmacokinetics has not been adequately studied.

Effect of Race

No race-related differences in the kinetics of cetirizine have been observed.

Pharmacodynamics

Cetirizine hydrochloride at doses of 5 and 10 mg strongly inhibited the wheal and flare caused by intradermal injection of histamine in 19 pediatric volunteers (aged 5 to 12 years) and the activity persisted for at least 24 hours. In a 35-day study in children aged 5 to 12, no tolerance to the antihistaminic (suppression of wheal and flare response) effects of cetirizine hydrochloride was found. In 10 infants 7 to 25 months of age who received 4 to 9 days of cetirizine in an oral solution (0.25 mg/kg bid), there was a 90% inhibition of histamine-induced (10 mg/mL) cutaneous wheal and 87% inhibition of the flare 12 hours after administration of the last dose. The clinical relevance of this suppression of histamine-induced wheal and flare response on skin testing is unknown.

The effects of intradermal injection of various other mediators or histamine releasers were also inhibited by cetirizine, as was response to a cold challenge in patients with cold-induced urticaria. In mildly asthmatic subjects, cetirizine hydrochloride at 5 to 20 mg blocked bronchoconstriction due to nebulized histamine, with virtually total blockade after a 20-mg dose. In studies conducted for up to 12 hours following cutaneous antigen challenge, the late phase recruitment of eosinophils, neutrophils and basophils, components of the allergic inflammatory response, was inhibited by cetirizine hydrochloride at a dose of 20 mg.

In four clinical studies in healthy adult males, no clinically significant mean increases in QTc were observed in cetirizine hydrochloride treated subjects. In the first study, a placebo-controlled crossover trial, cetirizine hydrochloride was given at doses up to 60 mg per day, 6 times the maximum clinical dose, for 1 week, and no significant mean QTc prolongation occurred. In the second study, a crossover trial, cetirizine hydrochloride 20 mg and erythromycin (500 mg every 8 hours) were given alone and in combination. There was no significant effect on QTc with the combination or with cetirizine hydrochloride alone. In the third trial, also a crossover study, cetirizine hydrochloride 20 mg and ketoconazole (400 mg per day) were given alone and in combination. Cetirizine hydrochloride caused a mean increase in QTc of 9.1 msec from baseline after 10 days of therapy. Ketoconazole also increased QTc by 8.3 msec. The combination caused an increase of 17.4 msec, equal to the sum of the individual effects. Thus, there was no significant drug interaction on QTc with the combination of cetirizine hydrochloride and ketoconazole. In the fourth study, a placebo-controlled parallel trial, cetirizine hydrochloride 20 mg was given alone or in combination with azithromycin (500 mg as a single dose on the first day followed by 250 mg once daily). There was no significant increase in QTc with cetirizine hydrochloride 20 mg alone or in combination with azithromycin.

In a four-week clinical trial in pediatric patients aged 6 to 11 years, results of randomly obtained ECG measurements before treatment and after 2 weeks of treatment showed that cetirizine hydrochloride 5 or 10 mg did not increase QTc versus placebo. In a one week clinical trial (N=86) of cetirizine hydrochloride oral solution (0.25 mg/kg bid) compared with placebo in pediatric patients 6 to 11 months of age, ECG measurements taken within 3 hours of the last dose did not show any ECG abnormalities or increases in QTc interval in either group compared to baseline assessments. Data from other studies where cetirizine hydrochloride was administered to patients 6 to 23 months of age were consistent with the findings in this study.

The effects of cetirizine hydrochloride on the QTc interval at doses higher than 10 mg have not been studied in children less than 12 years of age.

In a six-week, placebo-controlled study of 186 patients (aged 12 to 64 years) with allergic rhinitis and mild to moderate asthma, cetirizine hydrochloride 10 mg once daily improved rhinitis symptoms and did not alter pulmonary function. In a two-week, placebo-controlled clinical trial, a subset analysis of 65 pediatric (aged 6 to 11 years) allergic rhinitis patients with asthma showed cetirizine hydrochloride did not alter pulmonary function. These studies support the safety of administering cetirizine hydrochloride to pediatric and adult allergic rhinitis patients with mild to moderate asthma.

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