Candesartan cilexetil is the prodrug of candesartan, an angiotensin II type 1 (AT1) receptor antagonist. Absorbed candesartan cilexetil is completely metabolised to candesartan. Oral bioavailability is low (about 40%) because of incomplete absorption. Plasma protein binding in humans is more than 99%. The volume of distribution in healthy individuals is 0.13 L/kg. CV-15959 is the inactive metabolite of candesartan.
Candesartan that reaches the systemic circulation is mainly cleared by the kidneys, and to a smaller extent by the biliary or intestinal route. The apparent oral clearance of candesartan is 0.25 L/h/kg after a single dose in healthy individuals. Oral clearance (3.4 to 28.4 L/h) is highly variable among patients. No relevant pharmacokinetic drug-food or drug-drug interactions are known. The terminal elimination half-life remains unclear, but appears to be longer than the currently used range of 4 to 9 hours.
Non-compartmental models do not appear to be appropriate for the analysis of candesartan pharmacokinetic data. A 2-compartment analysis revealed a much longer half-life of 29 hours using data from patients with hypertension. However, a further indepth analysis has never been performed. The concentration-effect relationship is unaffected by age. No gender or race differences have been shown in the effect or pharmacokinetics of candesartan.
Renal function affects the pharmacokinetic profile of candesartan. For patients with Creatinine clearances of >60 ml/min · 1.73m2, 30 to 60 ml/min · 1.73m2 and 15 to 30 ml/min · 1.73m2, the elimination half-life is 7.1, 10.0 and 15.7 hours, respectively, at a dose of 8 mg/day. However, at 12 mg/day an accumulation factor of 1.71 was found. Thus, a maximum daily dose of up to 8mg appears suitable in patients with severe renal dysfunction. No significant elimination of candesartan occurs with haemodialysis. In patients with mild to moderate hepatic impairment, no relevant pharmacokinetic alterations have been observed. Dosages of up to 12 mg/day do not require precautions in patients with mild to moderate liver disease.
Clinically effective dosages range between 8 and 32 mg/day. The response rate of monotherapy with candesartan in patients with hypertension increases with dosage, but never exceeds 60% at a daily dosage of 16mg of candesartan. Dosages up to 32 mg/day do not increase this response rate.
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The authors were supported by a grant from the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (FKZ 01 EC 0001). The authors wish to thank Dr I. Meineke, from the Department of Clinical Pharmacology, University of Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany, for his helpful comments.
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