The Pharmacokinetic Properties of Topical Levocabastine
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The linear and predictable pharmacokinetic properties of the histamine H1-receptor antagonist levocabastine make it particularly suitable for intranasal or ocular treatment of allergic rhinoconjunctivitis. Peak plasma concentrations (Cmax) occur within 1 to 2 hours of administration of single doses of levocabastine nasal spray and eye drops (0.2mg and 0.04mg, respectively). Drug absorption is incomplete after intranasal and ocular administration, with systemic availability ranging from 60 to 80% for levocabastine nasal spray and from 30 to 60% for the eye drops. However, as the amount of levocabastine applied intranasally and ocularly is small, the levocabastine plasma concentrations achieved are extremely low, with Cmax values in the ranges 1.4 to 2.2 μ/L and 0.26 to 0.29 μg/L for intranasal and ocular administration, respectively.
Pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic modelling has indicated that the clinical benefits of levocabastine are predominantly mediated through local antihistaminic effects, although some systemic activity may contribute to the therapeutic efficacy of levocabastine nasal spray during long term use.
Levocabastine undergoes minimal hepatic metabolism, i.e. ester glucuronidation, and is predominantly cleared by the kidneys. Approximately 70% of parent drug is recovered unchanged in the urine. Plasma protein binding is approximately 55% and the potential for drug interactions involving binding site displacement is negligible. Furthermore, the pharmacokinetics of this agent do not appear to be influenced by either age or gender. Levocabastine nasal spray and eye drops may thus be considered suitable for the treatment of allergic rhinoconjunctivitis in a wide patient population.
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