Cevimeline is a cholinergic agonist which binds to muscarinic receptors. Muscarinic agonists in sufficient dosage can increase secretion of exocrine glands, such as salivary and sweat glands and increase tone of the smooth muscle in the gastrointestinal and urinary tracts.
Absorption: After administration of a single 30 mg capsule, cevimeline was rapidly absorbed with a mean time to peak concentration of 1.5 to 2 hours. No accumulation of active drug or its metabolites was observed following multiple dose administration. When administered with food, there is a decrease in the rate of absorption, with a fasting TMAX of 1.53 hours and a TMAX of 2.86 hours after a meal; the peak concentration is reduced by 17.3%. Single oral doses across the clinical dose range are dose proportional.
Distribution: Cevimeline has a volume of distribution of approximately 6L/kg and is <20% bound to human plasma proteins. This suggests that cevimeline is extensively bound to tissues; however, the specific binding sites are unknown.
Metabolism: Isozymes CYP2D6 and CYP3A3/4 are responsible for the metabolism of cevimeline. After 24 hours, 86.7% of the dose was recovered (16.0% unchanged, 44.5% as cis and trans-sulfoxide, 22.3% of the dose as glucuronic acid conjugate and 4% of the dose as N-oxide of cevimeline). Approximately 8% of the trans-sulfoxide metabolite is then converted into the corresponding glucuronic acid conjugate and eliminated. Cevimeline did not inhibit cytochrome P450 isozymes 1A2, 2A6, 2C9, 2C19, 2D6, 2E1, and 3A4.
Excretion: The mean half-life of cevimeline is 5+/-1 hours. After 24 hours, 84% of a 30 mg dose of cevimeline was excreted in urine. After seven days, 97% of the dose was recovered in the urine and 0.5% was recovered in the feces.
Special Populations: The effects of renal impairment, hepatic impairment, or ethnicity on the pharmacokinetics of cevimeline have not been investigated.
Cevimeline has been shown to improve the symptoms of dry mouth in patients with Sjögren's Syndrome.
A 6-week, randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled study was conducted in 75 patients (10 men, 65 women) with a mean age of 53.6 years (range 33-75). The racial distribution was Caucasian 92%, Black 1% and other 7%. The effects of cevimeline at 30 mg tid (90 mg/day) and 60 mg tid (180 mg/day) were compared to those of placebo. Patients were evaluated by a measure called global improvement, which is defined as a response of "better" to the question, "Please rate the overall condition of your dry mouth now compared with how you felt before starting treatment in this study." Patients also had the option of selecting "worse" or "no change" as answers. Seventy-six percent of the patients in the 30 mg tid group reported a global improvement in their dry mouth symptoms compared to 35% of the patients in the placebo group. This difference was statistically significant at p=0.0043. There was no evidence that patients in the 60 mg tid group had better global evaluation scores than the patients in the 30 mg tid
A 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was conducted in 197 patients (10 men, 187 women) with a mean age of 54.5 years (range 23-74). The racial distribution was Caucasian 91.4%, Black 3% and other 5.6%. The effects of cevimeline at 15 mg tid (45 mg/day) and 30 mg tid (90 mg/day) were compared to those of placebo. Statistically significant global improvement in the symptoms of dry mouth (p=0.0004) was seen for the 30 mg tid group compared to placebo, but not for the 15 mg group compared to placebo. Salivary flow showed statistically significant increases at both doses of cevimeline during the study compared to placebo.
A second 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was conducted in 212 patients (11 men, 201 women) with a mean age of 55.3 years (range 24-75). The racial distribution was Caucasian 88.7%, Black 1.9% and other 9.4%. The effects of cevimeline at 15 mg tid (45 mg/day) and 30 mg tid (90 mg/day) were compared to those of placebo. No statistically significant differences were noted in the patient global evaluations. However, there was a higher placebo response rate in this study compared to the aforementioned studies. The 30 mg tid group showed a statistically significant increase in salivary flow from pre-dose to post-dose compared to placebo (p=0.0017).