Pharmacokinetics of Zanamivir After Intravenous, Oral, Inhaled or Intranasal Administration to Healthy Volunteers
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The objective of these studies was to examine the clinical pharmacokinetics and safety of zanamivir, an influenza A and B virus neuraminidase inhibitor, when administered to healthy volunteers.
The safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of zanamivir administered by a number of routes were assessed in randomised, double-blind and placebo-controlled studies. The study of absolute oral bioavailability had an open design.
The participants in these studies were healthy male or female volunteers.
Zanamivir was administered as single or multiple doses by the intravenous, oral, inhaled (nebuliser and dry powder) and intranasal routes. Serum and urine samples were obtained for determination of pharmacokinetic parameters, and nasal washes and throat gargles were performed to assess drug concentrations in the nose and throat. Safety was evaluated by monitoring adverse events, vital signs and laboratory parameters.
Zanamivir was well tolerated at all doses by all routes; no serious adverse events were reported. The kinetics of zanamivir were linear with single intravenous doses up to 600mg, and there was no evidence of modification in the kinetics after repeated twice-daily administration. Approximately 90% of zanamivir was excreted unchanged in the urine. The elimination of zanamivir from the serum was a first-order process with a half-life of approximately 2 hours and, at 16L, the volume of distribution was similar to that of extracellular water.
The absolute oral bioavailability of zanamivir was low, averaging 2%. After intranasal or oral inhaled administration, a median of 10 to 20% of the dose was systemically absorbed, with maximum serum concentrations generally reached within 1 to 2 hours. The median serum half-life ranged between 2.5 and 5.05 hours, suggesting that the elimination rate is limited by absorption. There was no evidence of modification in the kinetics after repeated inhaled administration.
Zanamivir is a well tolerated drug. The low level of absorption of the drug after inhaled administration results in low serum concentrations, and therefore there is modest systemic exposure to zanamivir after inhalation. Zanamivir is not metabolised, and the potential for clinically relevant drug-drug interactions is very low.
KeywordsInfluenza Adis International Limited Antiviral Activity Zanamivir Intranasal Administration
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