Effects of S ildenafil on Blood Pressure
Single oral doses of sildenafil 100 mg administered to healthy volunteers produced decreases in supine blood pressure (mean maximum decrease in systolic/diastolic blood pressure of 8/5 mmHg). The decrease in blood pressure was most notable approximately 1-2 hours after dosing, and was not different from placebo at 8 hours. Similar effects on blood pressure were noted with 25 mg, 50 mg and 100 mg doses of sildenafil, therefore the effects are not related to dose or plasma levels within this dosage range. Larger effects were recorded among patients receiving concomitant nitrates [see Contraindications (4)].
Single oral doses of sildenafil up to 100 mg in healthy volunteers produced no clinically relevant effects on ECG. After chronic dosing of 80 mg TID to patients with PAH, no clinically relevant effects on ECG were reported.
After chronic dosing of 80 mg TID sildenafil to healthy volunteers, the largest mean change from baseline in supine systolic and supine diastolic blood pressures was a decrease of 9.0 mmHg and 8.4 mmHg, respectively.
After chronic dosing of 80 mg TID sildenafil to patients with systemic hypertension, the mean change from baseline in systolic and diastolic blood pressures was a decrease of 9.4 mmHg and 9.1 mmHg, respectively.
After chronic dosing of 80 mg TID sildenafil to patients with PAH, lesser reductions than above in systolic and diastolic blood pressures were observed (a decrease in both of 2 mmHg).
Effects of S ildenafil on Vision
At single oral doses of 100 mg and 200 mg, transient dose-related impairment of color discrimination (blue/green) was detected using the Farnsworth-Munsell 100-hue test, with peak effects near the time of peak plasma levels. This finding is consistent with the inhibition of PDE6, which is involved in phototransduction in the retina. An evaluation of visual function at doses up to 200 mg revealed no effects of sildenafil on visual acuity, intraocular pressure, or pupillometry.
Absorption and Distribution
Sildenafil is rapidly absorbed after oral administration, with a mean absolute bioavailability of 41% (25 to 63%). Maximum observed plasma concentrations are reached within 30 to 120 minutes (median 60 minutes) of oral dosing in the fasted state. When sildenafil is taken with a high-fat meal, the rate of absorption is reduced, with a mean delay in Tmax of 60 minutes and a mean reduction in Cmax of 29%. The mean steady state volume of distribution (Vss) for sildenafil is 105 L, indicating distribution into the tissues. Sildenafil and its major circulating N-desmethyl metabolite are both approximately 96% bound to plasma proteins. Protein binding is independent of total drug concentrations.
Metabolism and Excretion
Sildenafil is cleared predominantly by the CYP3A (major route) and cytochrome P450 2C9 (CYP2C9, minor route) hepatic microsomal isoenzymes. The major circulating metabolite results from N-desmethylation of sildenafil, and is, itself, further metabolized. This metabolite has a phosphodiesterase selectivity profile similar to sildenafil and an in vitro potency for PDE-5 approximately 50% of the parent drug. In healthy volunteers, plasma concentrations of this metabolite are approximately 40% of those seen for sildenafil, so that the metabolite accounts for about 20% of sildenafil’s pharmacologic effects. In patients with PAH, however, the ratio of the metabolite to sildenafil is higher. Both sildenafil and the active metabolite have terminal half-lives of about 4 hours.
After either oral or intravenous administration, sildenafil is excreted as metabolites predominantly in the feces (approximately 80% of the administered oral dose) and to a lesser extent in the urine (approximately 13% of the administered oral dose).
Age, gender, race, and renal and hepatic function were included as factors assessed in the population pharmacokinetic model to evaluate sildenafil pharmacokinetics in patients with PAH. The dataset available for the population pharmacokinetic evaluation contained a wide range of demographic data and laboratory parameters associated with hepatic and renal function. None of these factors had a significant impact on sildenafil pharmacokinetics in patients with PAH.
In patients with PAH, the average steady-state concentrations were 20 to 50% higher when compared to those of healthy volunteers. There was also a doubling of Cmin levels compared to healthy volunteers. Both findings suggest a lower clearance and/or a higher oral bioavailability of sildenafil in patients with PAH compared to healthy volunteers.
Healthy elderly volunteers (65 years or over) had a reduced clearance of sildenafil, resulting in approximately 84% and 107% higher plasma concentrations of sildenafil and its active N-desmethyl metabolite, respectively, compared to those seen in healthy younger volunteers (18 to 45 years). Due to age-differences in plasma protein binding, the corresponding increase in the AUC of free (unbound) sildenafil and its active N-desmethyl metabolite were 45% and 57%, respectively.
In volunteers with mild (CLcr = 50 to 80 mL/min) and moderate (CLcr = 30 to 49 mL/min) renal impairment, the pharmacokinetics of a single oral dose of sildenafil (50 mg) was not altered. In volunteers with severe (CLcr less than 30 mL/min) renal impairment, sildenafil clearance was reduced, resulting in approximately doubling of AUC and Cmax compared to age-matched volunteers with no renal impairment. In addition, N-desmethyl metabolite AUC and Cmax values were significantly increased 200% and 79%, respectively, in subjects with severe renal impairment compared to subjects with normal renal function.
In volunteers with mild to moderate hepatic cirrhosis (Child-Pugh class A and B), sildenafil clearance was reduced, resulting in increases in AUC (84%) and Cmax (47%) compared to age-matched volunteers with no hepatic impairment. Patients with severe hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh class C) have not been studied.
Drug Interaction Studies
In vitro studies
Sildenafil metabolism is principally mediated by the CYP3A (major route) and CYP2C9 (minor route) cytochrome P450 isoforms. Therefore, inhibitors of these isoenzymes may reduce sildenafil clearance and inducers of these isoenzymes may increase sildenafil clearance.
Sildenafil is a weak inhibitor of the cytochrome P450 isoforms 1A2, 2C9, 2C19, 2D6, 2E1 and 3A (IC50 greater than 150 μM).
Sildenafil is not expected to affect the pharmacokinetics of compounds which are substrates of these CYP enzymes at clinically relevant concentrations.
In vivo studies
The effects of other drugs on sildenafil pharmacokinetics and the effects of sildenafil on the exposure to other drugs are shown in Figure 7 and Figure 8, respectively.
Figure 7. Effects of Other Drugs on Sildenafil Pharmacokinetics
Figure 8. Effects of Sildenafil on Other Drugs
CYP3A Inhibitors and Beta Blockers
Population pharmacokinetic analysis of data from patients in clinical trials indicated an approximately 30% reduction in sildenafil clearance when it was co-administered with mild/moderate CYP3A inhibitors and an approximately 34% reductions in sildenafil clearance when co-administered with beta-blockers. Sildenafil exposure without concomitant medication is shown to be 5-fold higher at a dose of 80 mg TID compared to its exposure at a dose of 20 mg TID. This concentration range covers the same increased sildenafil exposure observed in specifically-designed drug interaction studies with CYP3A inhibitors (except for potent inhibitors such as ketoconazole, itraconazole, and ritonavir).
Population pharmacokinetic analysis of data from patients in clinical trials indicated an approximately 3-fold increase in sildenafil clearance when it was co-administered with mild CYP3A inducers, which is consistent with the effect of bosentan on sildenafil clearance in healthy volunteers. Concomitant administration of potent CYP3A inducers is expected to cause substantial decreases in plasma levels of sildenafil.
The mean reduction of sildenafil (80 mg TID) bioavailability due to co-administration of epoprostenol was 28%, resulting in about 22% lower mean average steady state concentrations. Therefore, the slight decrease of sildenafil exposure in the presence of epoprostenol is not considered clinically relevant. The effect of sildenafil on epoprostenol pharmacokinetics is not known.
No significant interactions were shown with tolbutamide (250 mg) or warfarin (40 mg), both of which are metabolized by CYP2C9.
Sildenafil (50 mg) did not potentiate the hypotensive effect of alcohol in healthy volunteers with mean maximum blood alcohol levels of 0.08%.
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