The mechanism of action of ziprasidone in the treatment of the listed indications could be mediated through a combination of dopamine type 2 (D2) and serotonin type 2 (5HT2) antagonism.
Ziprasidone binds with relatively high affinity to the dopamine D2 and D3, serotonin 5HT2A, 5HT2C, 5HT1A, 5HT1D, and α1-adrenergic receptors (Ki s of 4.8, 7.2, 0.4, 1.3, 3.4, 2, and 10 nM, respectively), and with moderate affinity to the histamine H1 receptor (Ki=47 nM). Ziprasidone is an antagonist at the D2, 5HT2A, and 5HT1D receptors, and an agonist at the 5HT1A receptor. Ziprasidone inhibited synaptic reuptake of serotonin and norepinephrine. No appreciable affinity was exhibited for other receptor/binding sites tested, including the cholinergic muscarinic receptor (IC50 >1 μM).
Ziprasidone’s activity is primarily due to the parent drug. The multiple-dose pharmacokinetics of ziprasidone are dose-proportional within the proposed clinical dose range, and ziprasidone accumulation is predictable with multiple dosing. Elimination of ziprasidone is mainly via hepatic metabolism with a mean terminal half-life of about 7 hours within the proposed clinical dose range. Steady-state concentrations are achieved within one to three days of dosing. The mean apparent systemic clearance is 7.5 mL/min/kg. Ziprasidone is unlikely to interfere with the metabolism of drugs metabolized by cytochrome P450 enzymes.
Absorption: Ziprasidone is well absorbed after oral administration, reaching peak plasma concentrations in 6 to 8 hours. The absolute bioavailability of a 20 mg dose under fed conditions is approximately 60%. The absorption of ziprasidone is increased up to two-fold in the presence of food.
Distribution: Ziprasidone has a mean apparent volume of distribution of 1.5 L/kg. It is greater than 99% bound to plasma proteins, binding primarily to albumin and α1-acid glycoprotein. The in vitro plasma protein binding of ziprasidone was not altered by warfarin or propranolol, two highly protein-bound drugs, nor did ziprasidone alter the binding of these drugs in human plasma. Thus, the potential for drug interactions with ziprasidone due to displacement is minimal.
Metabolism and Elimination: Ziprasidone is extensively metabolized after oral administration with only a small amount excreted in the urine (<1%) or feces (<4%) as unchanged drug. Ziprasidone is primarily cleared via three metabolic routes to yield four major circulating metabolites, benzisothiazole (BITP) sulphoxide, BITP-sulphone, ziprasidone sulphoxide, and S-methyldihydroziprasidone. Approximately 20% of the dose is excreted in the urine, with approximately 66% being eliminated in the feces. Unchanged ziprasidone represents about 44% of total drug-related material in serum. In vitro studies using human liver subcellular fractions indicate that S-methyldihydroziprasidone is generated in two steps. These studies indicate that the reduction reaction is mediated primarily by chemical reduction by glutathione as well as by enzymatic reduction by aldehyde oxidase and the subsequent methylation is mediated by thiol methyltransferase. In vitro studies using human liver microsomes and recombinant enzymes indicate that CYP3A4 is the major CYP contributing to the oxidative metabolism of ziprasidone. CYP1A2 may contribute to a much lesser extent. Based on in vivo abundance of excretory metabolites, less than one-third of ziprasidone metabolic clearance is mediated by cytochrome P450 catalyzed oxidation and approximately two-thirds via reduction. There are no known clinically relevant inhibitors or inducers of aldehyde oxidase.
Lifetime carcinogenicity studies were conducted with ziprasidone in Long Evans rats and CD-1 mice. Ziprasidone was administered for 24 months in the diet at doses of 2, 6, or 12 mg/kg/day to rats, and 50, 100, or 200 mg/kg/day to mice (0.1 to 0.6 and 1 to 5 times the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) of 200 mg/day based on mg/m2 body surface area, respectively). In the rat study, there was no evidence of an increased incidence of tumors compared to controls. In male mice, there was no increase in incidence of tumors relative to controls. In female mice, there were dose-related increases in the incidences of pituitary gland adenoma and carcinoma, and mammary gland adenocarcinoma at all doses tested (50 to 200 mg/kg/day or 1 to 5 times the MRHD based on mg/m2 body surface area). Proliferative changes in the pituitary and mammary glands of rodents have been observed following chronic administration of other antipsychotic agents and are considered to be prolactin-mediated. Increases in serum prolactin were observed in a 1-month dietary study in female, but not male, mice at 100 and 200 mg/kg/day (or 2.5 and 5 times the MRHD based on mg/m2 body surface area). Ziprasidone had no effect on serum prolactin in rats in a 5-week dietary study at the doses that were used in the carcinogenicity study. The relevance for human risk of the findings of prolactin-mediated endocrine tumors in rodents is unknown [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.14)].
Ziprasidone was tested in the Ames bacterial mutation assay, the in vitro mammalian cell gene mutation mouse lymphoma assay, the in vitro chromosomal aberration assay in human lymphocytes, and the in vivo chromosomal aberration assay in mouse bone marrow. There was a reproducible mutagenic response in the Ames assay in one strain of S. typhimurium in the absence of metabolic activation. Positive results were obtained in both the in vitro mammalian cell gene mutation assay and the in vitro chromosomal aberration assay in human lymphocytes.
Impairment of Fertility
Ziprasidone was shown to increase time to copulation in Sprague-Dawley rats in two fertility and early embryonic development studies at doses of 10 to 160 mg/kg/day (0.5 to 8 times the MRHD of 200 mg/day based on mg/m2 body surface area). Fertility rate was reduced at 160 mg/kg/day (8 times the MRHD based on mg/m2 body surface area). There was no effect on fertility at 40 mg/kg/day (2 times the MRHD based on mg/m2 body surface area). The effect on fertility appeared to be in the female since fertility was not impaired when males given 160 mg/kg/day (8 times the MRHD based on mg/m2 body surface area) were mated with untreated females.
The efficacy of oral ziprasidone in the treatment of schizophrenia was evaluated in 5 placebo-controlled studies, 4 short-term (4-and 6-week) trials and one maintenance trial. All trials were in adult inpatients, most of whom met DSM III-R criteria for schizophrenia. Each study included 2 to 3 fixed doses of ziprasidone as well as placebo. Four of the 5 trials were able to distinguish ziprasidone from placebo; one short-term study did not. Although a single fixed-dose haloperidol arm was included as a comparative treatment in one of the three short-term trials, this single study was inadequate to provide a reliable and valid comparison of ziprasidone and haloperidol.
Several instruments were used for assessing psychiatric signs and symptoms in these studies. The Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) and the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) are both multi-item inventories of general psychopathology usually used to evaluate the effects of drug treatment in schizophrenia. The BPRS psychosis cluster (conceptual disorganization, hallucinatory behavior, suspiciousness, and unusual thought content) is considered a particularly useful subset for assessing actively psychotic schizophrenic patients. A second widely used assessment, the Clinical Global Impression (CGI), reflects the impression of a skilled observer, fully familiar with the manifestations of schizophrenia, about the overall clinical state of the patient. In addition, the Scale for Assessing Negative Symptoms (SANS) was employed for assessing negative symptoms in one trial.
The results of the oral ziprasidone trials in schizophrenia follow:
• In a 4-week, placebo-controlled trial (n=139) comparing 2 fixed doses of ziprasidone (20 and 60 mg twice daily) with placebo, only the 60 mg dose was superior to placebo on the BPRS total score and the CGI severity score. This higher dose group was not superior to placebo on the BPRS psychosis cluster or on the SANS.
• In a 6-week, placebo-controlled trial (n=302) comparing 2 fixed doses of ziprasidone (40 and 80 mg twice daily) with placebo, both dose groups were superior to placebo on the BPRS total score, the BPRS psychosis cluster, the CGI severity score and the PANSS total and negative subscale scores. Although 80 mg twice daily had a numerically greater effect than 40 mg twice daily, the difference was not statistically significant.
• In a 6-week, placebo-controlled trial (n=419) comparing 3 fixed doses of ziprasidone (20, 60, and 100 mg twice daily) with placebo, all three dose groups were superior to placebo on the PANSS total score, the BPRS total score, the BPRS psychosis cluster, and the CGI severity score. Only the 100 mg twice daily dose group was superior to placebo on the PANSS negative subscale score. There was no clear evidence for a dose-response relationship within the 20 mg twice daily to 100 mg twice daily dose range.
• In a 4-week, placebo-controlled trial (n=200) comparing 3 fixed doses of ziprasidone (5, 20, and 40 mg twice daily), none of the dose groups was statistically superior to placebo on any outcome of interest.
A study was conducted in stable chronic or subchronic (CGI-S <5 at baseline) schizophrenic inpatients (n=294) who had been hospitalized for not less than two months. After a 3-day single-blind placebo run-in, subjects were randomized to one of 3 fixed doses of ziprasidone (20 mg, 40 mg, or 80 mg twice daily) or placebo and observed for relapse. Patients were observed for “impending psychotic relapse,” defined as CGI-improvement score of >6 (much worse or very much worse) and/or scores >6 (moderately severe) on the hostility or uncooperativeness items of the PANSS on two consecutive days. Ziprasidone was significantly superior to placebo in time to relapse, with no significant difference between the different dose groups. There were insufficient data to examine population subsets based on age and race. Examination of population subsets based on gender did not reveal any differential responsiveness.
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