Ketotifen is an antimalarial prodrug of norketotifen with blood schizonticidal and liver-stage efficacy
- First Online:
- Cite this article as:
- Milner, E., Sousa, J., Pybus, B. et al. Eur J Drug Metab Pharmacokinet (2012) 37: 17. doi:10.1007/s13318-012-0080-2
- 193 Downloads
Ketotifen is known to exhibit antimalarial activity in mouse and monkey malaria models. However, the low plasma levels and short half life of the drug do not adequately explain its in vivo efficacy. We synthesized most of the known metabolites of ketotifen and evaluated their antimalarial activity and pharmacokinetics in mice. Norketotifen, the de-methylated metabolite of ketotifen, was a more potent antimalarial in vitro as compared to ketotifen, and exhibited equivalent activity in vivo against asexual blood and developing liver-stage parasites. After ketotifen dosing, norketotifen levels were much higher than ketotifen relative to the IC50s of the compounds against Plasmodium falciparum in vitro. The data support the notion that the antimalarial activity of ketotifen in mice is mediated through norketotifen.