Mechanism of Action
The pharmacological activity of Trileptal is primarily exerted through the 10-monohydroxy metabolite (MHD) of oxcarbazepine [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. The precise mechanism by which oxcarbazepine and MHD exert their antiseizure effect is unknown; however, in vitro electrophysiological studies indicate that they produce blockade of voltage-sensitive sodium channels, resulting in stabilization of hyperexcited neural membranes, inhibition of repetitive neuronal firing, and diminution of propagation of synaptic impulses. These actions are thought to be important in the prevention of seizure spread in the intact brain. In addition, increased potassium conductance and modulation of high-voltage activated calcium channels may contribute to the anticonvulsant effects of the drug. No significant interactions of oxcarbazepine or MHD with brain neurotransmitter or modulator receptor sites have been demonstrated.
Oxcarbazepine and its active metabolite (MHD) exhibit anticonvulsant properties in animal seizure models. They protected rodents against electrically induced tonic extension seizures and, to a lesser degree, chemically induced clonic seizures, and abolished or reduced the frequency of chronically recurring focal seizures in Rhesus monkeys with aluminum implants. No development of tolerance (i.e., attenuation of anticonvulsive activity) was observed in the maximal electroshock test when mice and rats were treated daily for five days and four weeks, respectively, with oxcarbazepine or MHD.
Following oral administration of Trileptal tablets, oxcarbazepine is completely absorbed and extensively metabolized to its pharmacologically active 10-monohydroxy metabolite (MHD). In a mass balance study in people, only 2% of total radioactivity in plasma was due to unchanged oxcarbazepine, with approximately 70% present as MHD, and the remainder attributable to minor metabolites.
The half-life of the parent is about two hours, while the half-life of MHD is about nine hours, so that MHD is responsible for most antiepileptic activity.
Based on MHD concentrations, Trileptal tablets and suspension were shown to have similar bioavailability.
After single-dose administration of Trileptal tablets to healthy male volunteers under fasted conditions, the median tmax was 4.5 (range 3 to 13) hours. After single-dose administration of Trileptal oral suspension to healthy male volunteers under fasted conditions, the median tmax was six hours.
Steady-state plasma concentrations of MHD are reached within 2-3 days in patients when Trileptal is given twice a day. At steady state the pharmacokinetics of MHD are linear and show dose proportionality over the dose range of 300 to 2400 mg/day.
Effect of Food: Food has no effect on the rate and extent of absorption of oxcarbazepine from Trileptal tablets. Although not directly studied, the oral bioavailability of the Trileptal suspension is unlikely to be affected under fed conditions. Therefore, Trileptal tablets and suspension can be taken with or without food.
The apparent volume of distribution of MHD is 49L.
Approximately 40% of MHD is bound to serum proteins, predominantly to albumin. Binding is independent of the serum concentration within the therapeutically relevant range. Oxcarbazepine and MHD do not bind to alpha-1-acid glycoprotein.
Metabolism and Excretion
Oxcarbazepine is rapidly reduced by cytosolic enzymes in the liver to its 10-monohydroxy metabolite, MHD, which is primarily responsible for the pharmacological effect of Trileptal. MHD is metabolized further by conjugation with glucuronic acid. Minor amounts (4% of the dose) are oxidized to the pharmacologically inactive 10,11-dihydroxy metabolite (DHD).
Oxcarbazepine is cleared from the body mostly in the form of metabolites which are predominantly excreted by the kidneys. More than 95% of the dose appears in the urine, with less than 1% as unchanged oxcarbazepine. Fecal excretion accounts for less than 4% of the administered dose. Approximately 80% of the dose is excreted in the urine either as glucuronides of MHD (49%) or as unchanged MHD (27%); the inactive DHD accounts for approximately 3% and conjugates of MHD and oxcarbazepine account for 13% of the dose.
The half-life of the parent is about two hours, while the half-life of MHD is about nine hours.
The pharmacokinetics and metabolism of oxcarbazepine and MHD were evaluated in healthy volunteers and hepatically-impaired subjects after a single 900-mg oral dose. Mild-to-moderate hepatic impairment did not affect the pharmacokinetics of oxcarbazepine and MHD. No dose adjustment for Trileptal is recommended in patients with mild-to-moderate hepatic impairment. The pharmacokinetics of oxcarbazepine and MHD have not been evaluated in severe hepatic impairment and, therefore, caution should be exercised when dosing severely impaired patients [see Dosage and Administration (2.7)].
There is a linear correlation between creatinine clearance and the renal clearance of MHD. When Trileptal is administered as a single 300-mg dose in renally-impaired patients (creatinine clearance <30 mL/min), the elimination half-life of MHD is prolonged to 19 hours, with a two-fold increase in AUC. Dose adjustment for Trileptal is recommended in these patients [see Use in Specific Populations (8.6) and see Dosage and Administration (2.8)].
Weight-adjusted MHD clearance decreases as age and weight increases, approaching that of adults. The mean weight-adjusted clearance in children 2 years-<4 years of age is approximately 80% higher on average than that of adults. Therefore, MHD exposure in these children is expected to be about one-half that of adults when treated with a similar weight-adjusted dose. The mean weight-adjusted clearance in children 4–12 years of age is approximately 40% higher on average than that of adults. Therefore, MHD exposure in these children is expected to be about three-quarters that of adults when treated with a similar weight-adjusted dose. As weight increases, for patients 13 years of age and above, the weight-adjusted MHD clearance is expected to reach that of adults.
Due to physiological changes during pregnancy, MHD plasma levels may gradually decrease throughout pregnancy [see
Specific Populations (8.1)]
Following administration of single (300 mg) and multiple (600 mg/day) doses of Trileptal to elderly volunteers (60-82 years of age), the maximum plasma concentrations and AUC values of MHD were 30%-60% higher than in younger volunteers (18-32 years of age). Comparisons of creatinine clearance in young and elderly volunteers indicate that the difference was due to age-related reductions in creatinine clearance.
No gender-related pharmacokinetic differences have been observed in children, adults, or the elderly.
No specific studies have been conducted to assess what effect, if any, race may have on the disposition of oxcarbazepine.
Oxcarbazepine can inhibit CYP2C19 and induce CYP3A4/5 with potentially important effects on plasma concentrations of other drugs. In addition, several AEDs that are cytochrome P450 inducers can decrease plasma concentrations of oxcarbazepine and MHD.
Oxcarbazepine was evaluated in human liver microsomes to determine its capacity to inhibit the major cytochrome P450 enzymes responsible for the metabolism of other drugs. Results demonstrate that oxcarbazepine and its pharmacologically active 10-monohydroxy metabolite (MHD) have little or no capacity to function as inhibitors for most of the human cytochrome P450 enzymes evaluated (CYP1A2, CYP2A6, CYP2C9, CYP2D6, CYP2E1, CYP4A9 and CYP4A11) with the exception of CYP2C19 and CYP3A4/5. Although inhibition of CYP3A4/5 by oxcarbazepine and MHD did occur at high concentrations, it is not likely to be of clinical significance. The inhibition of CYP2C19 by oxcarbazepine and MHD, is clinically relevant.
In vitro, the UDP-glucuronyl transferase level was increased, indicating induction of this enzyme. Increases of 22% with MHD and 47% with oxcarbazepine were observed. As MHD, the predominant plasma substrate, is only a weak inducer of UDP-glucuronyl transferase, it is unlikely to have an effect on drugs that are mainly eliminated by conjugation through UDP-glucuronyl transferase (e.g., valproic acid, lamotrigine).
In addition, oxcarbazepine and MHD induce a subgroup of the cytochrome P450 3A family (CYP3A4 and CYP3A5) responsible for the metabolism of dihydropyridine calcium antagonists, oral contraceptives and cyclosporine resulting in a lower plasma concentration of these drugs.
As binding of MHD to plasma proteins is low (40%), clinically significant interactions with other drugs through competition for protein binding sites are unlikely.
For in vivo drug interactions [see Drug Interactions (7)].
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
In two-year carcinogenicity studies, oxcarbazepine was administered in the diet at doses of up to 100 mg/kg/day to mice and by gavage at doses of up to 250 mg/kg/day to rats, and the pharmacologically active 10-hydroxy metabolite (MHD) was administered orally at doses of up to 600 mg/kg/day to rats. In mice, a dose-related increase in the incidence of hepatocellular adenomas was observed at oxcarbazepine doses ≥70 mg/kg/day or approximately 0.1 times the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) on a mg/m2 basis. In rats, the incidence of hepatocellular carcinomas was increased in females treated with oxcarbazepine at doses ≥25 mg/kg/day (0.1 times the MRHD on a mg/m2 basis), and incidences of hepatocellular adenomas and/or carcinomas were increased in males and females treated with MHD at doses of 600 mg/kg/day (2.4 times the MRHD on a mg/m2 basis) and ≥250 mg/kg/day (equivalent to the MRHD on a mg/m2 basis), respectively. There was an increase in the incidence of benign testicular interstitial cell tumors in rats at 250 mg oxcarbazepine/kg/day and at ≥250 mg MHD/kg/day, and an increase in the incidence of granular cell tumors in the cervix and vagina in rats at 600 mg MHD/kg/day.
Oxcarbazepine increased mutation frequencies in the Ames test in vitro in the absence of metabolic activation in one of five bacterial strains. Both oxcarbazepine and MHD produced increases in chromosomal aberrations and polyploidy in the Chinese hamster ovary assay in vitro in the absence of metabolic activation. MHD was negative in the Ames test, and no mutagenic or clastogenic activity was found with either oxcarbazepine or MHD in V79 Chinese hamster cells in vitro. Oxcarbazepine and MHD were both negative for clastogenic or aneugenic effects (micronucleus formation) in an in vivo rat bone marrow assay.
Impairment of Fertility
In a fertility study in which rats were administered MHD (50, 150, or 450 mg/kg) orally prior to and during mating and early gestation, estrous cyclicity was disrupted and numbers of corpora lutea, implantations, and live embryos were reduced in females receiving the highest dose (approximately two times the MRHD on a mg/m2 basis).