Assessment of levetiracetam bioavailability from targeted sites in the human intestine using remotely activated capsules and gamma scintigraphy: Open-label, single-dose, randomized, four-way crossover study in healthy male volunteers.
Author(s): Stockis A, Sargentini-Maier ML, Otoul C, Connor A, Wilding I, Wray H
Affiliation(s): Global Exploratory Development, UCB Pharma S.A., Braine-l'Alleud, Belgium. email@example.com
Publication date & source: 2010-09, Clin Ther., 32(10):1813-21.
Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
BACKGROUND: Levetiracetam is a broad-spectrum antiepileptic drug that binds to synaptic vesicle protein SV2A. Levetiracetam is indicated in the adjunctive treatment of partial-onset seizures, myoclonic seizures, and generalized tonic-clonic seizures. It is also approved in Europe as monotherapy for newly diagnosed partial-onset seizures. A Phase I clinical pharmacology trial was conducted during preregistration clinical development to better understand the regional gastrointestinal (GI) absorption of levetiracetam. OBJECTIVE: This study evaluated the relative bioavailability of levetiracetam in various regions of the GI tract using a noninvasive, remote-controlled capsule device providing targeted drug delivery, relative to that after oral administration, and explored the drug's absorption characteristics in healthy volunteers. METHODS: Pharmacokinetic data were obtained from healthy men aged 18 to 65 years in an open-label, single-dose, randomized, 4-way crossover study. Treatments included levetiracetam 250 mg administered as an immediate-release tablet and capsule delivery of 250 mg drug substance (levetiracetam powder without excipients) to the proximal small bowel, distal small bowel, and ascending colon. The location of the capsule in the GI tract was monitored using gamma-scintigraphic imaging. Blood samples for plasma levetiracetam concentration were collected before dosing; at 10, 20, 30, and 45 minutes; and at 1, 1.5, 2, 3, 6, 9, 12, 16, 20, and 24 hours after tablet intake or after capsule activation. Pharmacokinetic parameters C(max), T(max), AUC(last), AUC(infinity) and t((1/2)) were calculated using noncompartmental methods. Tolerability was determined using clinical assessment, monitoring of vital signs, laboratory analysis, and interviews with the volunteers regarding adverse events. RESULTS: Nine healthy men, 7 whites and 2 Asians, were enrolled (mean [SD] age, 31  years; weight, 77  kg; height, 176  cm). Six volunteers completed all 4 treatments. Seven adverse events (headache , lethargy , tachycardia , and contusion ) were reported in 5 volunteers, but only 2 (headache and lethargy) were judged by the investigator to be possibly drug related. The geometric mean (%CV) AUC(0-last) values of levetiracetam delivered in the proximal small bowel, distal small bowel, ascending colon, and stomach (oral tablet) were 58.2 (9.3%), 59.6 (8.9%), 51.5 (12.0%), and 59.0 (7.4%) mug . h/mL, respectively. Values for bioavailability in the proximal small bowel, distal small bowel, and ascending colon relative to the tablet were 98.5% (95% CI, 89.7%-108.2%), 100.8% (95% CI, 91.4%-111.1%), and 87.1% (95% CI, 77.9%-97.5%). CONCLUSION: After delivery in the proximal small bowel, distal small bowel, or ascending colon, the systemic bioavailability of levetiracetam (AUC), but not C(max) and T(max), appeared comparable to that after oral administration and thus appeared site independent in this small group of healthy fasting men. Copyright A(c) 2010 Excerpta Medica Inc. All rights reserved.