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Tamiflu (Oseltamivir Phosphate) - Description and Clinical Pharmacology

 
 



DESCRIPTION

TAMIFLU (oseltamivir phosphate) is available as capsules containing 30 mg, 45 mg, or 75 mg oseltamivir for oral use, in the form of oseltamivir phosphate, and as a powder for oral suspension, which when constituted with water as directed contains 6 mg/mL oseltamivir base. In addition to the active ingredient, each capsule contains pregelatinized starch, talc, povidone K30, croscarmellose sodium, and sodium stearyl fumarate. The 30 mg capsule shell contains gelatin, titanium dioxide, yellow iron oxide, and red iron oxide. The 45 mg capsule shell contains gelatin, titanium dioxide, and black iron oxide. The 75 mg capsule shell contains gelatin, titanium dioxide, yellow iron oxide, black iron oxide, and red iron oxide. Each capsule is printed with blue ink, which includes FD&C Blue No. 2 as the colorant. In addition to the active ingredient, the powder for oral suspension contains sorbitol, monosodium citrate, xanthan gum, titanium dioxide, tutti-frutti flavoring, sodium benzoate, and saccharin sodium.

Oseltamivir phosphate is a white crystalline solid with the chemical name (3R,4R,5S)-4-acetylamino-5-amino-3(1-ethylpropoxy)-1-cyclohexene-1-carboxylic acid, ethyl ester, phosphate (1:1). The chemical formula is C16H28N2O4 (free base). The molecular weight is 312.4 for oseltamivir free base and 410.4 for oseltamivir phosphate salt. The structural formula is as follows:

CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY

Mechanism of Action

Oseltamivir is an antiviral drug [see Clinical Pharmacology].

Pharmacokinetics

Absorption and Bioavailability

Oseltamivir is readily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract after oral administration of oseltamivir phosphate and is extensively converted predominantly by hepatic esterases to oseltamivir carboxylate. At least 75% of an oral dose reaches the systemic circulation as oseltamivir carboxylate. Exposure to oseltamivir is less than 5% of the total exposure after oral dosing (see Table 6).

Table 6 Mean (% CV) Pharmacokinetic Parameters of Oseltamivir and Oseltamivir Carboxylate Following Multiple Dosing of 75 mg Capsules Twice Daily (n=20)
Parameter Oseltamivir Oseltamivir Carboxylate
Cmax (ng/mL) 65 348 (18)
AUC0-12h (ng∙h/mL) 112 (25) 2719 (20)

Plasma concentrations of oseltamivir carboxylate are proportional to doses up to 500 mg given twice daily.

Coadministration with food has no significant effect on the peak plasma concentration (551 ng/mL under fasted conditions and 441 ng/mL under fed conditions) and the area under the plasma concentration time curve (6218 ng∙h/mL under fasted conditions and 6069 ng∙h/mL under fed conditions) of oseltamivir carboxylate.

Distribution

The volume of distribution (Vss) of oseltamivir carboxylate, following intravenous administration in 24 subjects, ranged between 23 and 26 liters.

The binding of oseltamivir carboxylate to human plasma protein is low (3%). The binding of oseltamivir to human plasma protein is 42%, which is insufficient to cause significant displacement-based drug interactions.

Metabolism

Oseltamivir is extensively converted to oseltamivir carboxylate by esterases located predominantly in the liver. Neither oseltamivir nor oseltamivir carboxylate is a substrate for, or inhibitor of, cytochrome P450 isoforms.

Elimination

Absorbed oseltamivir is primarily (>90%) eliminated by conversion to oseltamivir carboxylate. Plasma concentrations of oseltamivir declined with a half-life of 1 to 3 hours in most subjects after oral administration. Oseltamivir carboxylate is not further metabolized and is eliminated in the urine. Plasma concentrations of oseltamivir carboxylate declined with a half-life of 6 to 10 hours in most subjects after oral administration. Oseltamivir carboxylate is eliminated entirely (>99%) by renal excretion. Renal clearance (18.8 L/h) exceeds glomerular filtration rate (7.5 L/h), indicating that tubular secretion occurs in addition to glomerular filtration. Less than 20% of an oral radiolabeled dose is eliminated in feces.

Special Populations

Renal Impairment

Administration of 100 mg of oseltamivir phosphate twice daily for 5 days to patients with various degrees of renal impairment showed that exposure to oseltamivir carboxylate is inversely proportional to declining renal function. Oseltamivir carboxylate exposures in patients with normal and impaired renal function administered various dose regimens of oseltamivir are described in Table 7.

Table 7 Oseltamivir Carboxylate Exposures in Patients With Normal and Reduced Serum Creatinine Clearance
Parameter Normal Renal Function Impaired Renal Function
75 mg
once daily
75 mg
twice daily
150 mg
twice daily
Creatinine Clearance
<10 mL/min
Creatinine Clearance
>10 and <30 mL/min
CAPD Hemodialysis 75 mg
daily
75 mg
alternate days
30 mg
daily
30 mg
weekly
30 mg alternate
HD cycle
Cmax 259 1 348 705 766 850 1638 1175 655
Cmin 39 138 288 62 48 864 209 346
AUC48 7476 10876 21864 17381 12429 62636 21999 25054

1 Observed values. All other values are predicted.

Hepatic Impairment

In clinical studies oseltamivir carboxylate exposure was not altered in patients with mild or moderate hepatic impairment [see Dosage and Administration and Use in Specific Populations].

Pediatric Patients

The pharmacokinetics of oseltamivir and oseltamivir carboxylate have been evaluated in a single-dose pharmacokinetic study in pediatric patients aged 5 to 16 years (n=18) and in a small number of pediatric patients aged 3 to 12 years (n=5) enrolled in a clinical trial. Younger pediatric patients cleared both the prodrug and the active metabolite faster than adult patients resulting in a lower exposure for a given mg/kg dose. For oseltamivir carboxylate, apparent total clearance decreases linearly with increasing age (up to 12 years). The pharmacokinetics of oseltamivir in pediatric patients over 12 years of age are similar to those in adult patients.

Geriatric Patients

Exposure to oseltamivir carboxylate at steady-state was 25% to 35% higher in geriatric patients (age range 65 to 78 years) compared to young adults given comparable doses of oseltamivir. Half-lives observed in the geriatric patients were similar to those seen in young adults. Based on drug exposure and tolerability, dose adjustments are not required for geriatric patients for either treatment or prophylaxis [see Dosage and Administration].

Microbiology

Mechanism of Action

Oseltamivir phosphate is an ethyl ester prodrug requiring ester hydrolysis for conversion to the active form, oseltamivir carboxylate. Oseltamivir carboxylate is an inhibitor of influenza virus neuraminidase affecting release of viral particles.

Antiviral Activity

The antiviral activity and neuraminidase inhibitory activity of oseltamivir carboxylate against laboratory strains and clinical isolates of influenza virus was determined in cell culture and biochemical assays. The concentrations of oseltamivir carboxylate required for inhibition of influenza virus in cell culture were highly variable depending on the assay method used and the virus tested. The 50% and 90% effective concentrations (EC50 and EC90) were in the range of 0.0008 µM to >35 µM and 0.004 µM to >100 µM, respectively (1 µM=0.284 µg/mL). The median IC50 values of oseltamivir against influenza A/H1N1, influenza A/H3N2, and influenza B clinical isolates were 2.5 nM (range 0.93-4.16 nM, N=74), 0.96 nM (range 0.13-7.95 nM, N=774), and 60 nM (20-285 nM, N=256), respectively, in a neuraminidase assay with a fluorescently labeled MUNANA substrate. The relationship between the antiviral activity in cell culture, inhibitory activity in the neuraminidase assay, and the inhibition of influenza virus replication in humans has not been established.

Resistance

Influenza A virus isolates with reduced susceptibility to oseltamivir carboxylate have been recovered by serial passage of virus in cell culture in the presence of increasing concentrations of oseltamivir carboxylate, from clinical isolates collected during treatment with oseltamivir, and from viral isolates sampled during community surveillance studies. Reduced susceptibility of influenza virus to inhibition by oseltamivir carboxylate may be conferred by amino acid substitutions in the viral neuraminidase and/or hemagglutinin proteins. Changes in the viral neuraminidase that have been associated with reduced susceptibility to oseltamivir carboxylate are summarized in Table 8. Hemagglutinin substitutions associated with oseltamivir resistance include A28T and R124M in influenza A H3N2 and H154Q in H1N9, a reassortant human/avian virus.

Table 8 Neuraminidase Amino Acid Substitutions Observed in Oseltamivir Treatment Studies or Community Surveillance
Amino Acid Substitution Influenza Type/
Sub-type
Source
Catalytic Residues
R292K A N2 Roche clinical trials, publication, surveillance 1
Framework Residues
H275Y A N1 Roche clinical trials, publication, surveillance
N294S A N1, N2 Publications
E119V A N2 Roche clinical trials, publication, surveillance
SASG245-248 deletion A N2 Roche clinical trial
I222V A N2 Publication
I222T B Publication
D198N B Publication, surveillance
D198E B Surveillance
R371K B Surveillance
G402S B Publication

1 Substitutions identified by surveillance data only; population and use of TAMIFLU are unknown

Selection of influenza A viruses resistant to oseltamivir can occur at higher frequencies in children. The incidence of oseltamivir treatment-associated resistance in pediatric treatment studies has been detected at rates of 27% to 37% and 3% to 18% (3/11 to 7/19 and 1/34 to 9/50 post-treatment isolates, respectively) for influenza A/H1N1 and influenza A/H3N2, respectively. The frequency of resistance selection to oseltamivir and the prevalence of such resistant virus vary seasonally and geographically.

Circulating seasonal influenza strains expressing neuraminidase resistance-associated substitutions have been observed in individuals who have not received oseltamivir treatment. The oseltamivir resistance-associated substitution H275Y was found in >99% of US circulating 2008 H1N1 influenza isolates. The 2009 H1N1 influenza ("swine flu") was almost uniformly susceptible to oseltamivir. Prescribers should consider available information from the CDC on influenza drug susceptibility patterns and treatment effects when deciding whether to use TAMIFLU.

Cross-resistance

Cross-resistance between oseltamivir and zanamivir has been observed in neuraminidase biochemical assays. The H275Y (N1 numbering) or N294S (N2 numbering) oseltamivir resistance-associated substitutions observed in the N1 neuraminidase subtype, and the E119V or N294S oseltamivir resistance-associated substitutions observed in the N2 subtype (N2 numbering), are associated with reduced susceptibility to oseltamivir but not zanamivir. The Q136K and K150T zanamivir resistance-associated substitutions observed in N1 neuraminidase, or the S250G zanamivir resistance-associated substitutions observed in influenza B, confer reduced susceptibility to zanamivir but not oseltamivir. The R292K oseltamivir resistance-associated substitution observed in N2, and the I222T, D198E/N, R371K, or G402S oseltamivir resistance-associated substitutions observed in influenza B neuraminidase, confer reduced susceptibility to both oseltamivir and zanamivir. In general, amino acid substitutions at neuraminidase catalytic residues confer cross-resistance to other neuraminidase inhibitors while substitutions at framework residues may or may not confer cross-resistance.

No single amino acid substitution has been identified that could confer cross-resistance between the neuraminidase inhibitor class (oseltamivir, zanamivir) and the M2 ion channel inhibitor class (amantadine, rimantadine). However, a virus may carry a neuraminidase inhibitor associated substitution in neuraminidase and an M2 ion channel inhibitor associated substitution in M2 and may therefore be resistant to both classes of inhibitors. The clinical relevance of phenotypic cross-resistance evaluations has not been established.

Immune Response

No influenza vaccine/oseltamivir interaction study has been conducted. In studies of naturally acquired and experimental influenza, treatment with TAMIFLU did not impair normal humoral antibody response to infection.

NONCLINICAL TOXICOLOGY

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

In 2-year carcinogenicity studies in mice and rats given daily oral doses of the prodrug oseltamivir phosphate up to 400 mg/kg and 500 mg/kg, respectively, the prodrug and the active form oseltamivir carboxylate induced no statistically significant increases in tumors over controls. The mean maximum daily exposures to the prodrug in mice and rats were approximately 130- and 320-fold, respectively, greater than those in humans at the proposed clinical dose based on AUC comparisons. The respective safety margins of the exposures to the active oseltamivir carboxylate were 15- and 50-fold.

Oseltamivir was found to be non-mutagenic in the Ames test and the human lymphocyte chromosome assay with and without enzymatic activation and negative in the mouse micronucleus test. It was found to be positive in a Syrian Hamster Embryo (SHE) cell transformation test. Oseltamivir carboxylate was non-mutagenic in the Ames test and the L5178Y mouse lymphoma assay with and without enzymatic activation and negative in the SHE cell transformation test.

In a fertility and early embryonic development study in rats, doses of oseltamivir at 50, 250, and 1500 mg/kg/day were administered to females for 2 weeks before mating, during mating and until day 6 of pregnancy. Males were dosed for 4 weeks before mating, during mating, and for 2 weeks after mating. There were no effects on fertility, mating performance or early embryonic development at any dose level. The highest dose was approximately 100 times the human systemic exposure (AUC0-24h) of oseltamivir carboxylate.

Animal Toxicology and/or Pharmacology

Single, oral administration of ≥657 mg/kg oseltamivir resulted in toxicity, including death, in juvenile 7 day old rats, but had no effect on adult rats. No toxicity was observed after repeated administration of up to 500 mg/kg oseltamivir to developing juvenile rats 7 to 21 days old. This 500 mg/kg dose was approximately 280 and 14 times the human systemic exposure (AUC0-24h) of oseltamivir and oseltamivir carboxylate, respectively. Clinical relevance of the juvenile rat study finding for young infants is unknown.

CLINICAL STUDIES

Treatment of Influenza

Adult Subjects

Two placebo-controlled double-blind clinical trials were conducted: one in the U.S. and one outside the U.S. Subjects were eligible for these trials if they had fever >100ºF, accompanied by at least one respiratory symptom (cough, nasal symptoms, or sore throat) and at least one systemic symptom (myalgia, chills/sweats, malaise, fatigue, or headache) and influenza virus was known to be circulating in the community. In addition, all subjects enrolled in the trials were allowed to take fever-reducing medications.

Of 1355 subjects enrolled in these two trials, 849 (63%) subjects were influenza-infected (age range 18 to 65 years; median age 34 years; 52% male; 90% Caucasian; 31% smokers). Of the 849 influenza-infected subjects, 95% were infected with influenza A, 3% with influenza B, and 2% with influenza of unknown type.

TAMIFLU was started within 40 hours of onset of symptoms. Subjects participating in the trials were required to self-assess the influenza-associated symptoms as "none," "mild," "moderate," or "severe." Time to improvement was calculated from the time of treatment initiation to the time when all symptoms (nasal congestion, sore throat, cough, aches, fatigue, headaches, and chills/sweats) were assessed as "none" or "mild." In both studies, at the recommended dose of TAMIFLU 75 mg twice daily for 5 days, there was a 1.3 day reduction in the median time to improvement in influenza-infected subjects receiving TAMIFLU compared to subjects receiving placebo. Subgroup analyses of these studies by gender showed no differences in the treatment effect of TAMIFLU in men and women.

In the treatment of influenza, no increased efficacy was demonstrated in subjects receiving treatment of 150 mg TAMIFLU twice daily for 5 days.

Geriatric Subjects

Three double-blind placebo-controlled treatment trials were conducted in subjects ≥65 years of age in three consecutive seasons. The enrollment criteria were similar to that of adult trials with the exception of fever being defined as >97.5°F. Of 741 subjects enrolled, 476 (65%) subjects were influenza-infected. Of the 476 influenza-infected subjects, 95% were infected with influenza type A and 5% with influenza type B.

In the pooled analysis, at the recommended dose of TAMIFLU 75 mg twice daily for 5 days, there was a 1-day reduction in the median time to improvement in influenza-infected subjects receiving TAMIFLU compared to those receiving placebo (p=NS). However, the magnitude of treatment effect varied between studies.

Pediatric Subjects

One double-blind placebo-controlled treatment trial was conducted in pediatric subjects aged 1 to 12 years (median age 5 years), who had fever (>100°F) plus one respiratory symptom (cough or coryza) when influenza virus was known to be circulating in the community. Of 698 subjects enrolled in this trial, 452 (65%) were influenza-infected (50% male; 68% Caucasian). Of the 452 influenza-infected subjects, 67% were infected with influenza A and 33% with influenza B.

The primary endpoint in this study was the time to freedom from illness, a composite endpoint that required 4 individual conditions to be met. These were: alleviation of cough, alleviation of coryza, resolution of fever, and parental opinion of a return to normal health and activity. TAMIFLU treatment of 2 mg/kg twice daily, started within 48 hours of onset of symptoms, significantly reduced the total composite time to freedom from illness by 1.5 days compared to placebo. Subgroup analyses of this study by gender showed no differences in the treatment effect of TAMIFLU in male and female pediatric subjects.

Prophylaxis of Influenza

Adult Subjects

The efficacy of TAMIFLU in preventing naturally occurring influenza illness has been demonstrated in three seasonal prophylaxis studies and a postexposure prophylaxis study in households. The primary efficacy parameter for all these studies was the incidence of laboratory-confirmed clinical influenza. Laboratory-confirmed clinical influenza was defined as oral temperature ≥99.0°F/37.2°C plus at least one respiratory symptom (cough, sore throat, nasal congestion) and at least one constitutional symptom (aches and pain, fatigue, headache, chills/sweats), all recorded within 24 hours, plus either a positive virus isolation or a four-fold increase in virus antibody titers from baseline.

In a pooled analysis of two seasonal prophylaxis studies in healthy unvaccinated adults (aged 13 to 65 years), TAMIFLU 75 mg once daily taken for 42 days during a community outbreak reduced the incidence of laboratory-confirmed clinical influenza from 5% (25/519) for the placebo group to 1% (6/520) for the TAMIFLU group.

In a seasonal prophylaxis study in elderly residents of skilled nursing homes, TAMIFLU 75 mg once daily taken for 42 days reduced the incidence of laboratory-confirmed clinical influenza from 4% (12/272) for the placebo group to <1% (1/276) for the TAMIFLU group. About 80% of this elderly population were vaccinated, 14% of subjects had chronic airway obstructive disorders, and 43% had cardiac disorders.

In a study of postexposure prophylaxis in household contacts (aged ≥13 years) of an index case, TAMIFLU 75 mg once daily administered within 2 days of onset of symptoms in the index case and continued for 7 days reduced the incidence of laboratory-confirmed clinical influenza from 12% (24/200) in the placebo group to 1% (2/205) for the TAMIFLU group. Index cases did not receive TAMIFLU in the study.

Pediatric Subjects

The efficacy of TAMIFLU in preventing naturally occurring influenza illness has been demonstrated in a randomized, open-label, postexposure prophylaxis study in households that included children aged 1 to 12 years, both as index cases and as family contacts. All index cases in this study received treatment. The primary efficacy parameter for this study was the incidence of laboratory-confirmed clinical influenza in the household. Laboratory-confirmed clinical influenza was defined as oral temperature ≥100°F/37.8°C plus cough and/or coryza recorded within 48 hours, plus either a positive virus isolation or a four-fold or greater increase in virus antibody titers from baseline or at illness visits. Among household contacts 1 to 12 years of age not already shedding virus at baseline, TAMIFLU for oral suspension 30 mg to 60 mg taken once daily for 10 days reduced the incidence of laboratory-confirmed clinical influenza from 17% (18/106) in the group not receiving prophylaxis to 3% (3/95) in the group receiving prophylaxis.

Immunocompromised Subjects

A double-blind, placebo-controlled study was conducted for seasonal prophylaxis of influenza in 475 immunocompromised subjects (including 18 pediatric subjects 1 to 12 years of age) who had received solid organ (n=388; liver, kidney, liver and kidney) or hematopoietic stem cell transplants (n=87). Median time since transplant for solid organ transplant recipients was 1105 days for the placebo group and 1379 days for the oseltamivir group. Median time since transplant for hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients was 424 days for the placebo group and 367 days for the oseltamivir group. Approximately 40% of subjects received influenza vaccine prior to entering the study. The primary efficacy endpoint for this study was the incidence of confirmed, clinical influenza, defined as oral temperature >99.0°F/37.2°C plus cough and/or coryza, all recorded within 24 hours, plus either a positive virus culture or a four-fold increase in virus antibody titers from baseline. The incidence of confirmed clinical influenza was 3% (7/238) in the group not receiving TAMIFLU compared with 2% (5/237) in the group receiving TAMIFLU; this difference was not statistically significant. A secondary analysis was performed using the same clinical symptoms and RT-PCR for laboratory confirmation of influenza. Among subjects who were not already shedding virus at baseline, the incidence of RT-PCR-confirmed clinical influenza was 3% (7/231) in the group not receiving TAMIFLU and <1% (1/232) in the group receiving TAMIFLU.

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