Febuxostat (Page 4 of 9)

8.8 Secondary Hyperuricemia

No studies have been conducted in patients with secondary hyperuricemia (including organ transplant recipients); febuxostat tablets are not recommended for use in patients whom the rate of urate formation is greatly increased (e.g., malignant disease and its treatment, Lesch-Nyhan syndrome). The concentration of xanthine in urine could, in rare cases, rise sufficiently to allow deposition in the urinary tract.


Febuxostat tablets were studied in healthy patients in doses up to 300 mg daily for seven days without evidence of dose-limiting toxicities. No overdose of febuxostat tablets was reported in clinical studies. Patients should be managed by symptomatic and supportive care should there be an overdose.


Febuxostat tablets are a xanthine oxidase inhibitor. The active ingredient in febuxostat tablets is 2-[3-cyano-4-(2-methylpropoxy) phenyl]-4-methylthiazole-5-carboxylic acid, with a molecular weight of 316.37. The molecular formula is C16 H16 N2 O3 S.

The chemical structure is:

Febuxostat Structural Formula
(click image for full-size original)

Febuxostat is a white to off-white crystalline powder that is freely soluble in dimethylformamide; soluble in dimethylsulfoxide; sparingly soluble in ethanol; slightly soluble in methanol and acetonitrile; and practically insoluble in water. The melting range is 205°C to 208°C.

Febuxostat tablets for oral use contain the active ingredient, febuxostat, and are available in two dosage strengths, 40 mg and 80 mg. Inactive ingredients include anhydrous lactose, colloidal silicon dioxide, croscarmellose sodium, crospovidone, hydroxypropyl cellulose, hypromellose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, silicon dioxide, sodium lauryl sulfate, talc and titanium dioxide.


12.1 Mechanism of Action

Febuxostat tablets, a xanthine oxidase inhibitor, achieve their therapeutic effect by decreasing serum uric acid. Febuxostat tablets are not expected to inhibit other enzymes involved in purine and pyrimidine synthesis and metabolism at therapeutic concentrations.

12.2 Pharmacodynamics

Effect on Uric Acid and Xanthine Concentrations

In healthy patients, febuxostat tablets resulted in a dose dependent decrease in 24 hour mean serum uric acid concentrations and an increase in 24 hour mean serum xanthine concentrations. In addition, there was a decrease in the total daily urinary uric acid excretion. Also, there was an increase in total daily urinary xanthine excretion. Percent reduction in 24 hour mean serum uric acid concentrations was between 40% and 55% at the exposure levels of 40 mg and 80 mg daily doses.

Effect on Cardiac Repolarization

The effect of febuxostat tablets on cardiac repolarization as assessed by the QTc interval was evaluated in normal healthy patients and in patients with gout. Febuxostat tablets in doses up to 300 mg daily (3.75 times the maximum recommended daily dosage), at steady-state, did not demonstrate an effect on the QTc interval.

12.3 Pharmacokinetics

In healthy patients, maximum plasma concentrations (Cmax ) and AUC of febuxostat increased in a dose proportional manner following single and multiple doses of 10 mg (0.25 times the lowest recommended dosage) to 120 mg (1.5 times the maximum recommended dosage). There is no accumulation when therapeutic doses are administered every 24 hours. Febuxostat has an apparent mean terminal elimination half-life (t1/2 ) of approximately 5 to 8 hours. Febuxostat pharmacokinetic parameters for patients with hyperuricemia and gout estimated by population pharmacokinetic analyses were similar to those estimated in healthy patients.


The absorption of radiolabeled febuxostat following oral dose administration was estimated to be at least 49% (based on total radioactivity recovered in urine). Maximum plasma concentrations of febuxostat occurred between 1 and 1.5 hours postdose. After multiple oral 40 mg and 80 mg once daily doses, Cmax is approximately 1.6 ± 0.6 mcg/mL (N = 30), and 2.6 ± 1.7 mcg/mL (N = 227), respectively. Absolute bioavailability of the febuxostat tablet has not been studied.

Following multiple 80 mg once daily doses with a high fat meal, there was a 49% decrease in Cmax and an 18% decrease in AUC, respectively. However, no clinically significant change in the percent decrease in serum uric acid concentration was observed (58% fed vs 51% fasting). Thus, febuxostat tablets may be taken without regard to food.

Concomitant ingestion of an antacid containing magnesium hydroxide and aluminum hydroxide with an 80 mg single dose of febuxostat tablets has been shown to delay absorption of febuxostat (approximately one hour) and to cause a 31% decrease in Cmax and a 15% decrease in AUC . As AUC rather than Cmax was related to drug effect, change observed in AUC was not considered clinically significant. Therefore, febuxostat tablets may be taken without regard to antacid use.


The mean apparent steady-state volume of distribution (Vss /F) of febuxostat was approximately 50 L (CV ~40%). The plasma protein binding of febuxostat is approximately 99.2% (primarily to albumin), and is constant over the concentration range achieved with 40 mg and 80 mg doses.


Febuxostat is extensively metabolized by both conjugation via uridine diphosphate glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) enzymes including UGT1A1, UGT1A3, UGT1A9, and UGT2B7 and oxidation via cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes including CYP1A2, 2C8 and 2C9 and non-P450 enzymes. The relative contribution of each enzyme isoform in the metabolism of febuxostat is not clear. The oxidation of the isobutyl side chain leads to the formation of four pharmacologically active hydroxy metabolites, all of which occur in plasma of humans at a much lower extent than febuxostat.

In urine and feces, acyl glucuronide metabolites of febuxostat (~35% of the dose), and oxidative metabolites, 67M-1 (~10% of the dose), 67M-2 (~11% of the dose), and 67M-4, a secondary metabolite from 67M-1 (~14% of the dose), appeared to be the major metabolites of febuxostat in vivo.


Febuxostat is eliminated by both hepatic and renal pathways. Following an 80 mg oral dose of 14 C-labeled febuxostat, approximately 49% of the dose was recovered in the urine as unchanged febuxostat (3%), the acyl glucuronide of the drug (30%), its known oxidative metabolites and their conjugates (13%), and other unknown metabolites (3%). In addition to the urinary excretion, approximately 45% of the dose was recovered in the feces as the unchanged febuxostat (12%), the acyl glucuronide of the drug (1%), its known oxidative metabolites and their conjugates (25%), and other unknown metabolites (7%).

The apparent mean terminal elimination half-life (t1/2 ) of febuxostat was approximately 5 to 8 hours.

Specific Populations

Geriatric Patients

The Cmax and AUC of febuxostat and its metabolites following multiple oral doses of febuxostat tablets in geriatric patients (≥ 65 years) were similar to those in younger patients (18 to 40 years). In addition, the percent decrease in serum uric acid concentration was similar between elderly and younger patients. No dose adjustment is necessary in geriatric patients [see Use in Specific Populations (8.5)].

Patients with Renal Impairment

In a dedicated phase I pharmacokinetics study, following multiple 80 mg doses of febuxostat tablets in healthy patients with mild (Clcr 50 to 80 mL/min), moderate (Clcr 30 to 49 mL/min) or severe renal impairment (Clcr 10 to 29 mL/min), the Cmax of febuxostat did not change relative to patients with normal renal function (Clcr greater than 80 mL/min). AUC and half-life of febuxostat increased in patients with renal impairment in comparison to patients with normal renal function, but values were similar among three renal impairment groups. Mean febuxostat AUC values were up to 1.8 times higher in patients with renal impairment compared to those with normal renal function. Mean Cmax and AUC values for three active metabolites increased up to two and four-fold, respectively. However, the percent decrease in serum uric acid concentration for patients with renal impairment was comparable to those with normal renal function (58% in normal renal function group and 55% in the severe renal function group).

Based on population pharmacokinetic analysis, following multiple 40 mg or 80 mg doses of febuxostat tablets, the mean oral clearance (CL/F) values of febuxostat in patients with gout and mild (n = 334), moderate (n = 232) or severe (n = 34) renal impairment were decreased by 14%, 34%, and 48%, respectively, compared to patients with normal (n = 89) renal function. The corresponding median AUC values of febuxostat at steady-state in patients with renal impairment were increased by 18%, 49%, and 96% after 40 mg dose, and 7%, 45% and 98% after 80 mg dose, respectively, compared to patients with normal renal function.

Febuxostat tablets have not been studied in end stage renal impairment patients who are on dialysis.

All MedLibrary.org resources are included in as near-original form as possible, meaning that the information from the original provider has been rendered here with only typographical or stylistic modifications and not with any substantive alterations of content, meaning or intent.

This site is provided for educational and informational purposes only, in accordance with our Terms of Use, and is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a medical doctor, nurse, nurse practitioner or other qualified health professional.

Privacy Policy | Copyright © 2022. All Rights Reserved.