Pharmacotherapeutic Group: Drugs for acid related disorders/Drugs for peptic ulcer and gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD)/Proton pump inhibitor. ATC Code: A02BC05.
Pharmacology: Pharmacodynamics: Esomeprazole is the S-isomer of omeprazole and reduces gastric acid secretion through a specific targeted mechanism of action. It is a specific inhibitor of the acid pump in the parietal cell. Both the R- and S-isomer of omeprazole have similar pharmacodynamic activity.
Mechanism of action: Esomeprazole is a weak base and is concentrated and converted to the active form in the highly acidic environment of the secretory canaliculi of the parietal cell, where it inhibits the enzyme H+K+-ATPase - the acid pump and inhibits both basal and stimulated acid secretion.
Pharmacokinetics: Absorption: Esomeprazole is acid labile and is administered orally as enteric-coated granules. In vivo conversion to the R-isomer is negligible. Absorption of esomeprazole is rapid, with peak plasma levels occurring approximately 1-2 hours after dose. The absolute bioavailability is 64% after a single dose of 40 mg and increases to 89% after repeated once-daily administration. For 20 mg esomeprazole the corresponding values are 50% and 68% respectively.
Food intake both delays and decreases the absorption of esomeprazole although this has no significant influence on the effect of esomeprazole on intragastric acidity.
Distribution: The apparent volume of distribution at steady state in healthy subjects is approximately 0.22 L/kg body weight. Esomeprazole is 97% plasma protein bound.
Biotransformation: Esomeprazole is completely metabolised by the cytochrome P450 system (CYP). The major part of the metabolism of esomeprazole is dependent on the polymorphic CYP2C19, responsible for the formation of the hydroxy- and desmethyl metabolites of esomeprazole. The remaining part is dependent on another specific isoform, CYP3A4, responsible for the formation of esomeprazole sulphone, the main metabolite in plasma.
Elimination: The parameters below reflect mainly the pharmacokinetics in individuals with a functional CYP2C19 enzyme, extensive metabolisers.
Total plasma clearance is about 17 L/h after a single dose and about 9 L/h after repeated administration. The plasma elimination half-life is about 1.3 hours after repeated once-daily dosing. Esomeprazole is completely eliminated from plasma between doses with no tendency for accumulation during once-daily administration.
The major metabolites of esomeprazole have no effect on gastric acid secretion. Almost 80% of an oral dose of esomeprazole is excreted as metabolites in the urine, the remainder in the faeces. Less than 1% of the parent drug is found in urine.
Linearity/non-linearity: The pharmacokinetics of esomeprazole has been studied in doses up to 40 mg b.i.d. The area under the plasma concentration-time curve increases with repeated administration of esomeprazole. This increase is dose-dependent and results in a more than dose proportional increase in AUC after repeated administration. This time- and dose-dependency is due to a decrease of first pass metabolism and systemic clearance probably caused by an inhibition of the CYP2C19 enzyme by esomeprazole and/or its sulphone metabolite.
Special patient populations: Poor metabolisers: Approximately 2.9 ± 1.5% of the population lack a functional CYP2C19 enzyme and are called poor metabolisers. In these individuals the metabolism of esomeprazole is probably mainly catalysed by CYP3A4. After repeated once-daily administration of 40 mg esomeprazole, the mean area under the plasma concentration-time curve was approximately 100% higher in poor metabolisers than in subjects having a functional CYP2C19 enzyme (extensive metabolisers). Mean peak plasma concentrations were increased by about 60%. These findings have no implications for the posology of esomeprazole.
Gender: Following a single dose of 40 mg esomeprazole the mean are under the plasma concentration-time curve is approximately 30% higher in females than in males. No gender difference is seen after repeated once-daily administration. These findings have no implications for the posology of esomeprazole.
Hepatic impairment: The metabolism of esomeprazole in patients with mild to moderate liver dysfunction may be impaired. The metabolic rate is decreased in patients with severe liver dysfunction resulting in a doubling of the area under the plasma concentration-time curve of esomeprazole. Therefore, a maximum of 20 mg should not be exceeded in patients with severe dysfunction. Esomeprazole or its major metabolites do not show any tendency to accumulate with once-daily dosing.
Renal impairment: No studies have been performed in patients with decreased renal function. Since the kidney is responsible for the excretion of the metabolites of esomeprazole but not for the elimination of the parent compound, the metabolism of esomeprazole is not expected to be changed in patients with impaired renal function.
Elderly: The metabolism of esomeprazole is not significantly changed in the elderly (71-80 years of age ).
Paediatric population: Adolescents 12-18 years: Following repeated dose administration of 20 mg and 40 mg esomeprazole, the total exposure (AUC) and the time to reach maximum plasma drug concentration (tmax) in 12 to 18 year-olds was similar to that in adults for both esomeprazole doses.
Toxicology: Preclinical safety data: Non-clinical data reveal no special hazard for humans based on conventional studies of safety pharmacology, repeated dose toxicity, genotoxicity, carcinogenic potential, toxicity to reproduction and development. Adverse reactions not observed in clinical studies, but seen in animals at exposure levels similar to clinical exposure levels and with possible relevance to clinical use were as follows: Carcinogenicity studies in the rat with the racemic mixture have shown gastric ECL-cell hyperplasia and carcinoids. These gastric effects in the rat are the result of sustained, pronounced hypergastrinaemia secondary to reduced production of gastric acid and are observed after long-term treatment in the rat with inhibitors of gastric acid secretion.