Pharmacotherapeutic group: Mucolytic drugs.
Pharmacology: Erdosteine pharmacologically acts as bronchial mucus fluidifying agent.
Pharmacodynamics: Erdosteine besides its property of fluidifying bronchial mucus thus facilitating expectorations, shows effects as antagonizing the formation of free radicals and as contrasting the action of elastase enzyme.
From pharmacological studies results that Erdosteine, as such, does not possess these properties but only after metabolization into active metabolites which have the chemical -SH groups. These metabolites break the -SH groups and bring a reduction in the mucus elasticity and viscosity thus facilitating the expectoration.
The chemical -SH groups, distinctive of this activity, are chemically blocked and become free only after metabolization or in alkaline moiety. This property guarantees a good tolerability without bad tastes and without mercapturic regurgitations and with good gastric tolerability.
Pharmacokinetics: Erdosteine is rapidly absorbed after oral administration, after a single oral dose, the Tmax is 1.2 hours.
Erdosteine is rapidly metabolized into at least 3 active metabolites containing three thiol groups, which tentatively are: N-thioglycolyl-homocysteine (metabolite I), N-acetyl-homocysteine (metabolite II), and homocysteine (metabolite III). The elimination half-life of Erdosteine is 1.4 hours on the average, and that of the metabolite I and II at 1.2 and 2.7 hours, respectively.
Multiple treatments do not modify the pharmacokinetics of Erdosteine.
Age does not change the pharmacokinetics of Erdosteine and of its metabolism.
In the elderly patient suffering from renal failure, whose creatinine clearance is compressed between 25 and 40 mL/min, the pharmacokinetic characteristics of Erdosteine and its metabolites are not significantly different from those of the healthy elderly subject.