Valacyclovir Hydrochloride (Page 6 of 9)

12.3 Pharmacokinetics

The pharmacokinetics of valacyclovir and acyclovir after oral administration of valacyclovir hydrochloride have been investigated in 14 volunteer trials involving 283 adults and in 3 trials involving 112 pediatric subjects aged 1 month to less than 12 years.

Pharmacokinetics in Adults

Absorption and Bioavailability

After oral administration, valacyclovir hydrochloride is rapidly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and nearly completely converted to acyclovir and L- valine by first-pass intestinal and/or hepatic metabolism.

The absolute bioavailability of acyclovir after administration of valacyclovir hydrochloride is 54.5% ± 9.1% as determined following a 1-gram oral dose of valacyclovir hydrochloride and a 350-mg intravenous acyclovir dose to 12 healthy volunteers. Acyclovir bioavailability from the administration of valacyclovir hydrochloride is not altered by administration with food (30 minutes after an 873 Kcal breakfast, which included 51 grams of fat).

Acyclovir pharmacokinetic parameter estimates following administration of valacyclovir hydrochloride to healthy adult volunteers are presented in Table 3. There was a less than dose-proportional increase in acyclovir maximum concentration (Cmax ) and area under the acyclovir concentration-time curve (AUC) after single-dose and multiple-dose administration (4 times daily) of valacyclovir hydrochloride from doses between 250 mg to 1 gram.

There is no accumulation of acyclovir after the administration of valacyclovir at the recommended dosage regimens in adults with normal renal function.

Table 3. Mean (±SD) Plasma Acyclovir Pharmacokinetic Parameters Following Administration of Valacyclovir Hydrochloride to Healthy Adult Volunteers

*
Administered 4 times daily for 11 days.

Dose

Single-Dose Administration

(N = 8)

Multiple-Dose Administration *

(N = 24, 8 per treatment arm)

Cmax (±SD)

(mcg/mL)

AUC (±SD) (h●mcg/mL)

Cmax (±SD) (mcg/mL)

AUC (±SD) (h●mcg/mL)

100 mg

0.83 (±0.14)

2.28 (±0.40)

ND

ND

250 mg

2.15 (±0.50)

5.76 (±0.60)

2.11 (±0.33)

5.66 (±1.09)

500 mg

3.28 (±0.83)

11.59 (±1.79)

3.69 (±0.87)

9.88 (±2.01)

750 mg

4.17 (±1.14)

14.11 (±3.54)

ND

ND

1,000 mg

5.65 (±2.37)

19.52 (±6.04)

4.96 (±0.64)

15.70 (±2.27)

ND = not done.

Distribution

The binding of valacyclovir to human plasma proteins ranges from 13.5% to 17.9%. The binding of acyclovir to human plasma proteins ranges from 9% to 33%.

Metabolism

Valacyclovir is converted to acyclovir and L -valine by first-pass intestinal and/or hepatic metabolism. Acyclovir is converted to a small extent to inactive metabolites by aldehyde oxidase and by alcohol and aldehyde dehydrogenase. Neither valacyclovir nor acyclovir is metabolized by cytochrome P450 enzymes. Plasma concentrations of unconverted valacyclovir are low and transient, generally becoming non-quantifiable by 3 hours after administration. Peak plasma valacyclovir concentrations are generally less than 0.5 mcg/mL at all doses. After single-dose administration of 1 gram of valacyclovir hydrochloride, average plasma valacyclovir concentrations observed were 0.5, 0.4, and 0.8 mcg/mL in subjects with hepatic dysfunction, renal insufficiency, and in healthy subjects who received concomitant cimetidine and probenecid, respectively.

Elimination

The pharmacokinetic disposition of acyclovir delivered by valacyclovir is consistent with previous experience from intravenous and oral acyclovir. Following the oral administration of a single 1-gram dose of radiolabeled valacyclovir to 4 healthy subjects, 46% and 47% of administered radioactivity was recovered in urine and feces, respectively, over 96 hours. Acyclovir accounted for 89% of the radioactivity excreted in the urine. Renal clearance of acyclovir following the administration of a single 1-gram dose of valacyclovir hydrochloride to 12 healthy subjects was approximately 255 ± 86 mL/min which represents 42% of total acyclovir apparent plasma clearance.

The plasma elimination half-life of acyclovir typically averaged 2.5 to 3.3 hours in all trials of valacyclovir hydrochloride in subjects with normal renal function.

Specific Populations

Patients with Renal Impairment

Reduction in dosage is recommended in patients with renal impairment [see Dosage and Administration (2.4), Use in Specific Populations (8.5, 8.6)].

Following administration of valacyclovir hydrochloride to subjects with ESRD, the average acyclovir half-life is approximately 14 hours. During hemodialysis, the acyclovir half-life is approximately 4 hours.

Approximately one-third of acyclovir in the body is removed by dialysis during a 4-hour hemodialysis session. Apparent plasma clearance of acyclovir in subjects on dialysis was 86.3 ± 21.3 mL/min/1.73 m2 compared with 679.16 ± 162.76 mL/min/1.73 m2 in healthy subjects.

Patients with Hepatic Impairment

Administration of valacyclovir hydrochloride to subjects with moderate (biopsy-proven cirrhosis) or severe (with and without ascites and biopsy-proven cirrhosis) liver disease indicated that the rate but not the extent of conversion of valacyclovir to acyclovir is reduced, and the acyclovir half-life is not affected. Dosage modification is not recommended for patients with cirrhosis.

Patients with HIV-1 Disease

In 9 subjects with HIV-1 disease and CD4+ cell counts less than 150 cells/mm3 who received valacyclovir hydrochloride at a dosage of 1 gram 4 times daily for 30 days, the pharmacokinetics of valacyclovir and acyclovir were not different from that observed in healthy subjects.

Geriatric Patients

After single-dose administration of 1 gram of valacyclovir hydrochloride in healthy geriatric subjects, the half-life of acyclovir was 3.11 ± 0.51 hours compared with 2.91 ± 0.63 hours in healthy younger adult subjects. The pharmacokinetics of acyclovir following single- and multiple-dose oral administration of valacyclovir hydrochloride in geriatric subjects varied with renal function. Dose reduction may be required in geriatric patients, depending on the underlying renal status of the patient [see Dosage and Administration (2.4), Use in Specific Populations (8.5, 8.6)].

Pediatric Patients

Acyclovir pharmacokinetics have been evaluated in a total of 98 pediatric subjects (aged 1 month to less than 12 years) following administration of the first dose of an extemporaneous oral suspension of valacyclovir [see Adverse Reactions (6.2), Use in Specific Populations (8.4)]. Acyclovir pharmacokinetic parameter estimates following a 20-mg/kg dose are provided in Table 4.

Table 4. Mean ( ±SD) Plasma Acyclovir Pharmacokinetic Parameter Estimates Following First-Dose Administration of 20 mg/kg Valacyclovir Oral Suspension to Pediatric Subjects vs. 1-Gram Single Dose of Valacyclovir Hydrochloride to Adults

*
Historical estimates using pediatric pharmacokinetic sampling schedule.

Pediatric Subjects

(20 mg/kg Oral Suspension)

Adults 1-gram Solid Dose of Valacyclovir *

Hydrochloride (n = 15)

Parameter

1 to <2 year

(n = 6)

2 to <6 year

(n = 12)

6 to <12 year

(n = 8)

AUC (mcg•h/mL) Cmax (mcg/mL)

14.4 (±6.26) 4.03 (±1.37)

10.1 (±3.35) 3.75 (±1.14)

13.1 (±3.43) 4.71 (±1.20)

17.2 (±3.10) 4.72 (±1.37)

Drug Interaction Studies

When valacyclovir hydrochloride is coadministered with antacids, cimetidine and/or probenicid, digoxin, or thiazide diuretics in patients with normal renal function, the effects are not considered to be of clinical significance (see below). Therefore, when valacyclovir hydrochloride is coadministered with these drugs in patients with normal renal function, no dosage adjustment is recommended.

Antacids

The pharmacokinetics of acyclovir after a single dose of valacyclovir hydrochloride (1 gram) were unchanged by coadministration of a single dose of antacids (Al3+ or Mg++).

Cimetidine

Acyclovir Cmax and AUC following a single dose of valacyclovir hydrochloride (1 gram) increased by 8% and 32%, respectively, after a single dose of cimetidine (800 mg).

Cimetidine plus Probenecid

Acyclovir Cmax and AUC following a single dose of valacyclovir hydrochloride (1 gram) increased by 30% and 78%, respectively, after a combination of cimetidine and probenecid, primarily due to a reduction in renal clearance of acyclovir.

Digoxin

The pharmacokinetics of digoxin were not affected by coadministration of valacyclovir hydrochloride 1 gram 3 times daily, and the pharmacokinetics of acyclovir after a single dose of valacyclovir hydrochloride (1 gram) was unchanged by coadministration of digoxin (2 doses of 0.75 mg).

Probenecid

Acyclovir Cmax and AUC following a single dose of valacyclovir hydrochloride (1 gram) increased by 22% and 49%, respectively, after probenecid (1 gram).

Thiazide Diuretics

The pharmacokinetics of acyclovir after a single dose of valacyclovir hydrochloride (1 gram) were unchanged by coadministration of multiple doses of thiazide diuretics.

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