Irbesartan is an orally active agent that does not require biotransformation into an active form. The oral absorption of irbesartan is rapid and complete with an average absolute bioavailability of 60% to 80%. Following oral administration of irbesartan, peak plasma concentrations of irbesartan are attained at 1.5 to 2 hours after dosing. Food does not affect the bioavailability of irbesartan.
Irbesartan exhibits linear pharmacokinetics over the therapeutic dose range.
The terminal elimination half-life of irbesartan averaged 11 to 15 hours. Steady-state concentrations are achieved within 3 days. Limited accumulation of irbesartan (<20%) is observed in plasma upon repeated once-daily dosing.
When plasma levels have been followed for at least 24 hours, the plasma half-life has been observed to vary between 5.6 and 14.8 hours.
Metabolism and Elimination
Irbesartan is metabolized via glucuronide conjugation and oxidation. Following oral or intravenous administration of 14 C-labeled irbesartan, more than 80% of the circulating plasma radioactivity is attributable to unchanged irbesartan. The primary circulating metabolite is the inactive irbesartan glucuronide conjugate (approximately 6%). The remaining oxidative metabolites do not add appreciably to irbesartan’s pharmacologic activity.
Irbesartan and its metabolites are excreted by both biliary and renal routes. Following either oral or intravenous administration of 14 C-labeled irbesartan, about 20% of radioactivity is recovered in the urine and the remainder in the feces, as irbesartan or irbesartan glucuronide.
In vitro studies of irbesartan oxidation by cytochrome P450 isoenzymes indicated irbesartan was oxidized primarily by 2C9; metabolism by 3A4 was negligible. Irbesartan was neither metabolized by, nor did it substantially induce or inhibit, isoenzymes commonly associated with drug metabolism (1A1, 1A2, 2A6, 2B6, 2D6, 2E1). There was no induction or inhibition of 3A4.
Hydrochlorothiazide is not metabolized but is eliminated rapidly by the kidney. At least 61% of the oral dose is eliminated unchanged within 24 hours.
Irbesartan is 90% bound to serum proteins (primarily albumin and α1 -acid glycoprotein) with negligible binding to cellular components of blood. The average volume of distribution is 53 to 93 liters. Total plasma and renal clearances are in the range of 157 to 176 mL/min and 3.0 to 3.5 mL/min, respectively. With repetitive dosing, irbesartan accumulates to no clinically relevant extent.
Studies in animals indicate that radiolabeled irbesartan weakly crosses the blood-brain barrier and placenta. Irbesartan is excreted in the milk of lactating rats.
Hydrochlorothiazide crosses the placental but not the blood-brain barrier and is excreted in breast milk.
Irbesartan-hydrochlorothiazide pharmacokinetics have not been investigated in patients <18 years of age.
No gender-related differences in pharmacokinetics were observed in healthy elderly (age 65 to 80 years) or in healthy young (age 18 to 40 years) subjects. In studies of hypertensive patients, there was no gender difference in half-life or accumulation, but somewhat higher plasma concentrations of irbesartan were observed in females (11% to 44%). No gender-related dosage adjustment is necessary.
In elderly subjects (age 65 to 80 years), irbesartan elimination half-life was not significantly altered, but AUC and Cmax values were about 20% to 50% greater than those of young subjects (age 18 to 40 years). No dosage adjustment is necessary in the elderly.
In healthy black subjects, irbesartan AUC values were approximately 25% greater than whites; there were no differences in Cmax values.
The pharmacokinetics of irbesartan were not altered in patients with renal impairment or in patients on hemodialysis. Irbesartan is not removed by hemodialysis. No dosage adjustment is necessary in patients with mild to severe renal impairment unless a patient with renal impairment is also volume depleted. [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS (5.2)].
The pharmacokinetics of irbesartan following repeated oral administration were not significantly affected in patients with mild to moderate cirrhosis of the liver. No dosage adjustment is necessary in patients with hepatic insufficiency.
No significant drug-drug pharmacokinetic (or pharmacodynamic) interactions have been found in interaction studies with hydrochlorothiazide, digoxin, warfarin, and nifedipine.
In vitro studies show significant inhibition of the formation of oxidized irbesartan metabolites with the known cytochrome CYP 2C9 substrates/inhibitors sulphenazole, tolbutamide, and nifedipine. However, in clinical studies the consequences of concomitant irbesartan on the pharmacodynamics of warfarin were negligible. Concomitant nifedipine or hydrochlorothiazide had no effect on irbesartan pharmacokinetics. Based on in vitro data, no interaction would be expected with drugs whose metabolism is dependent upon cytochrome P450 isoenzymes 1A1, 1A2, 2A6, 2B6, 2D6, 2E1, or 3A4.
In separate studies of patients receiving maintenance doses of warfarin, hydrochlorothiazide, or digoxin, irbesartan administration for 7 days had no effect on the pharmacodynamics of warfarin (prothrombin time) or the pharmacokinetics of digoxin. The pharmacokinetics of irbesartan were not affected by coadministration of nifedipine or hydrochlorothiazide.
No carcinogenicity studies have been conducted with the irbesartan and hydrochlorothiazide combination.
Irbesartan and hydrochlorothiazide was not mutagenic in standard in vitro tests (Ames microbial test and Chinese hamster mammalian-cell forward gene-mutation assay). Irbesartan and hydrochlorothiazide was negative in tests for induction of chromosomal aberrations (in vitro- human lymphocyte assay; in vivo- mouse micronucleus study).
The combination of irbesartan and hydrochlorothiazide has not been evaluated in definitive studies of fertility.
No evidence of carcinogenicity was observed when irbesartan was administered at doses of up to 500/1000 mg/kg/day (males/females, respectively) in rats and 1000 mg/kg/day in mice for up to 2 years. For male and female rats, 500 mg/kg/day provided an average systemic exposure to irbesartan (AUC0 to 24 hours , bound plus unbound) about 3 and 11 times, respectively, the average systemic exposure in humans receiving the maximum recommended dose (MRHD) of 300 mg irbesartan/day, whereas 1000 mg/kg/day (administered to females only) provided an average systemic exposure about 21 times that reported for humans at the MRHD. For male and female mice, 1000 mg/kg/day provided an exposure to irbesartan about 3 and 5 times, respectively, the human exposure at 300 mg/day.
Irbesartan was not mutagenic in a battery of in vitro tests (Ames microbial test, rat hepatocyte DNA repair test, V79 mammalian-cell forward gene-mutation assay). Irbesartan was negative in several tests for induction of chromosomal aberrations (in vitro- human lymphocyte assay; in vivo- mouse micronucleus study).
Irbesartan had no adverse effects on fertility or mating of male or female rats at oral doses ≤650 mg/kg/day, the highest dose providing a systemic exposure to irbesartan (AUC0 to 24 hours , bound plus unbound) about 5 times that found in humans receiving the MRHD of 300 mg/day.
Two-year feeding studies in mice and rats conducted under the auspices of the National Toxicology Program (NTP) uncovered no evidence of a carcinogenic potential of hydrochlorothiazide in female mice (at doses of up to approximately 600 mg/kg/day) or in male and female rats (at doses of up to approximately 100 mg/kg/day). The NTP, however, found equivocal evidence for hepatocarcinogenicity in male mice.
Hydrochlorothiazide was not genotoxic in vitro in the Ames mutagenicity assay of Salmonella typhimurium strains TA 98, TA 100, TA 1535, TA 1537, and TA 1538 and in the Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) test for chromosomal aberrations, or in vivo in assays using mouse germinal cell chromosomes, Chinese hamster bone marrow chromosomes, and the Drosophila sex-linked recessive lethal trait gene. Positive test results were obtained only in the in vitro CHO Sister Chromatid Exchange (clastogenicity) and in the Mouse Lymphoma Cell (mutagenicity) assays, using concentrations of hydrochlorothiazide from 43 to 1300 µg/mL, and in the Aspergillus nidulans non-disjunction assay at an unspecified concentration.
Hydrochlorothiazide had no adverse effects on the fertility of mice and rats of either sex in studies wherein these species were exposed, via their diet, to doses of up to 100 and 4 mg/kg, respectively, prior to mating and throughout gestation.
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