L-Cet Mechanism of Action





Full Prescribing Info
Pharmacotherapeutic group: Antihistamine for systemic use, piperazine derivative. ATC code: R06AE09.
Pharmacology: Pharmacodynamics: Levocetirizine, the (R) enantiomer of cetirizine, is a potent and selective antagonist of peripheral H1-receptors.
Binding studies revealed that levocetirizine has high affinity for human H1-receptors (Ki = 3.2 nmol/L). Levocetirizine has an affinity 2-fold higher than that of cetirizine (Ki = 6.3 nmol/L). Levocetirizine dissociates from H1-receptors with a half-life of 115 ± 38 min.
After single administration, levocetirizine shows receptor occupancy of 90% at 4 hours and 57% at 24 hours.
Pharmacodynamic studies in healthy volunteers demonstrate that, at half the dose, levocetirizine has comparable activity to cetirizine, both in the skin and in the nose.
Pharmacokinetics: The pharmacokinetics of levocetirizine are linear with dose- and time-independent with low inter-subject variability. The pharmacokinetic profile is the same when given as the single enantiomer or when given as cetirizine. No chiral inversion occurs during the process of absorption and elimination.
Absorption: Levocetirizine is rapidly and extensively absorbed following oral administration. Peak plasma concentrations are achieved 0.9 h after dosing. Steady state is achieved after two days. Peak concentrations are typically 270 ng/mL and 308 ng/mL following a single and a repeated 5 mg o.d. dose, respectively. The extent of absorption is dose-independent and is not altered by food, but the peak concentration is reduced and delayed.
Distribution: No tissue distribution data are available in humans, neither concerning the passage of levocetirizine through the blood-brain-barrier. In rats and dogs, the highest tissue levels are found in liver and kidneys, the lowest in the CNS compartment.
In Human, levocetirizine is 90% bound to plasma proteins. The distribution of levocetirizine is restrictive, as the volume of distribution is 0.4 L/kg.
Biotransformation: The extent of metabolism of levocetirizine in humans is less than 14% of the dose and therefore differences resulting from genetic polymorphism or concomitant intake of enzyme inhibitors are expected to be negligible. Metabolic pathways include aromatic oxidation, N- and O- dealkylation and taurine conjugation. Dealkylation pathways are primarily mediated by CYP 3A4 while aromatic oxidation involved multiple and/or unidentified CYP isoforms. Levocetirizine had no effect on the activities of CYP isoenzymes 1A2, 2C9, 2C19, 2D6, 2E1 and 3A4 at concentrations well above peak concentrations achieved following a 5 mg oral dose.
Due to its low metabolism and absence of metabolic inhibition potential, the interaction of levocetirizine with other substances, or vice-versa, is unlikely.
Elimination: The plasma half-life in adults is 7.9 ± 1.9 hours. The half-life is shorter in small children. The mean apparent total body clearance in adults is 0.63 ml/min/kg. The major route of excretion of levocetirizine and metabolites is via urine, accounting for a mean of 85.4% of the dose. Excretion via faeces accounts for only 12.9% of the dose. Levocetirizine is excreted both by glomerular filtration and active tubular secretion.
Special population: Renal impairment: The apparent body clearance of levocetirizine is correlated to the creatinine clearance. It is therefore recommended to adjust the dosing intervals of levocetirizine, based on creatinine clearance in patients with moderate and severe renal impairment. In anuric end stage renal disease subjects, the total body clearance is decreased by approximately 80% when compared to normal subjects. The amount of levocetirizine removed during a standard 4-hour hemodialysis procedure was < 10%.
Paediatric population: Data from a paediatric pharmacokinetic study with oral administration of a single dose of 5 mg levocetirizine in 14 children age 6 to 11 years with body weight ranging between 20 and 40 kg show that Cmax and AUC values are about 2-fold greater than that reported in healthy adult subjects in a cross-study comparison. The mean Cmax was 450 ng/ml, occurring at a mean time of 1.2 hours, weight-normalized, total body clearance was 30% greater, and the elimination half-life 24% shorter in this paediatric population than in adults. Dedicated pharmacokinetic studies have not been conducted in paediatric patients younger than 6 years of age. A retrospective population pharmacokinetic analysis was conducted in 324 subjects (181 children 1 to 5 years of age, 18 children 6 to 11 years of age, and 124 adults 18 to 55 years of age) who received single or multiple doses of levocetirizine ranging from 1.25 mg to 30 mg. Data generated from this analysis indicated that administration of 1.25 mg once daily to children 6 months to 5 years of age is expected to result in plasma concentrations similar to those of adults receiving 5 mg once daily.
Elderly: Limited pharmacokinetic data are available in elderly subjects. Following once daily repeat oral administration of 30 mg levocetirizine for 6 days in 9 elderly subjects (65–74 years of age), the total body clearance was approximately 33% lower compared to that in younger adults. The disposition of racemic cetirizine has been shown to be dependent on renal function rather than on age. This finding would also be applicable for levocetirizine, as levocetirizine and cetirizine are both predominantly excreted in urine. Therefore, the levocetirizine dose should be adjusted in accordance with renal function in elderly patients.
Gender: Pharmacokinetic results for 77 patients (40 men, 37 women) were evaluated for potential effect of gender. The half-life was slightly shorter in women (7.08 ± 1.72 hr) than in men (8.62 ± 1.84 hr); however, the body weight-adjusted oral clearance in women (0.67 ± 0.16 ml/min/kg) appears to be comparable to that in men (0.59 ± 0.12 ml/min/kg). The same daily doses and dosing intervals are applicable for men and women with normal renal function.
Race: The effect of race on levocetirizine has not been studied. As levocetirizine is primarily renally excreted, and there are no important racial differences in creatinine clearance, pharmacokinetic characteristics of levocetirizine are not expected to be different across races. No race-related differences in the kinetics of racemic cetirizine have been observed.
Hepatic impairment: The pharmacokinetics of levocetirizine in hepatically impaired subjects have not been tested. Patients with chronic liver diseases (hepatocellular, cholestatic, and biliary cirrhosis) given 10 or 20 mg of the racemic compound cetirizine as a single dose had a 50% increase in half life along with a 40% decrease in clearance compared to healthy subjects.
Pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic relationship: The action on histamine-induced skin reactions is out of phase with the plasma concentrations.
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