Zileuton is an orally active inhibitor of 5-lipoxygenase, the enzyme that catalyzes the formation of leukotrienes from arachidonic acid. Zileuton has the chemical name (±)-1-(1-Benzo[b]thien-2-ylethyl)-1-hydroxyurea and the following chemical structure:
Zileuton has the molecular formula C11H12N2O2S and a molecular weight of 236.29. It is a racemic mixture (50:50) of R(+) and S(-) enantiomers. Zileuton is a practically odorless, white, crystalline powder that is soluble in methanol and ethanol, slightly soluble in acetonitrile, and practically insoluble in water and hexane. The melting point ranges from 144.2°C to 145.2°C.
ZYFLO CR (zileuton) extended-release tablets for oral administration are triple-layer tablets comprised of an immediate-release layer, a middle (barrier) layer, and an extended-release layer. ZYFLO CR tablets are oblong, film-coated tablets with one red layer between two white layers, debossed on one side with "CT2". Each tablet contains 600 mg of zileuton and the following inactive ingredients: crospovidone, ferric oxide, glyceryl behenate, hydroxypropyl cellulose, hypromellose, magnesium stearate, mannitol, microcrystalline cellulose, povidone, pregelatinized starch, propylene glycol, sodium starch glycolate, and talc.
Mechanism of Action
Zileuton is an inhibitor of 5-lipoxygenase and thus inhibits leukotriene (LTB4, LTC4, LTD4 and LTE4) formation. Both the R(+) and S(-) enantiomers are pharmacologically active as 5-lipoxygenase inhibitors in in vitro and in vivo systems. Leukotrienes are substances that induce numerous biological effects including augmentation of neutrophil and eosinophil migration, neutrophil and monocyte aggregation, leukocyte adhesion, increased capillary permeability, and smooth muscle contraction. These effects contribute to inflammation, edema, mucus secretion, and bronchoconstriction in the airways of asthmatic patients. LTB4, a chemoattractant for neutrophils and eosinophils, and cysteinyl leukotrienes (LTC4, LTD4, LTE4) can be measured in a number of biological fluids including bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), blood, urine and sputum from asthmatic patients.
Zileuton is an orally active inhibitor of ex vivo LTB4 formation in several species, including mice, rats, rabbits, dogs, sheep, and monkeys. Zileuton inhibits arachidonic acid-induced ear edema in mice, neutrophil migration in mice in response to polyacrylamide gel, and eosinophil migration into the lungs of antigen-challenged sheep. In a mouse model of allergic inflammation, zileuton inhibited neutrophil and eosinophil influx, reduced the levels of multiple cytokines in the BALF, and reduced serum IgE levels. Zileuton inhibits leukotriene-dependent smooth muscle contractions in vitro in guinea pig and human airways. The compound inhibits leukotriene-dependent bronchospasm in antigen and arachidonic acid-challenged guinea pigs. In antigen-challenged sheep, zileuton inhibits late-phase bronchoconstriction and airway hyperreactivity. The clinical relevance of these findings is unknown.
Zileuton is an orally active inhibitor of ex vivo LTB4 formation in humans. The inhibition of LTB4 formation in whole blood is directly related to zileuton plasma levels. In patients with asthma, the IC50 is estimated to be 0.46 µg/mL, and maximum inhibition ≥80% is reached at a zileuton concentration of 2 µg/mL. In patients with asthma receiving zileuton immediate-release tablets 600 mg four times daily, peak plasma levels averaging 5.9 µg/mL were associated with a mean LTB4 inhibition of 98%. Zileuton inhibits the synthesis of cysteinyl leukotrienes as demonstrated by reduced urinary LTE4 levels.
Information on the pharmacokinetics of zileuton following the administration of zileuton immediate-release tablets is available in healthy subjects. The results of two clinical pharmacology studies using ZYFLO CR are described below.
A three-way crossover study was conducted in healthy male and female subjects (n=23) with a mean age of 33 (range 20-55) following single dose of 1200 mg (2 × 600 mg) ZYFLO CR tablets under fasted and fed conditions, and two doses of 600 mg zileuton immediate-release tablets every 6 hours under fasted conditions. Food increased the peak mean plasma concentrations (Cmax) and the mean extent of absorption (AUC) of ZYFLO CR by 18 and 34%, respectively, and prolonged Tmax from 2.1 hours to 4.3 hours. The relative bioavailability of ZYFLO CR to zileuton immediate-release tablets with respect to Cmax and AUC under fasted conditions were 0.39 (90% CI: 0.36, 0.43) and 0.57 (90% CI: 0.52, 0.62), respectively. Similarly, relative bioavailability of ZYFLO CR to zileuton immediate-release tablets with respect to Cmax and AUC under fed conditions were 0.45 (90% CI: 0.41, 0.49) and 0.76 (90% CI: 0.70, 0.83), respectively.
A three-way crossover study was conducted in healthy male and female subjects (n=24) with a mean age of 35 (range 19-56) following multiple doses of 1200 mg (2 × 600 mg) ZYFLO CR tablets administered every 12 hours under fasted and fed conditions, and 600 mg zileuton immediate-release tablets every 6 hours under fed conditions until steady state zileuton levels were achieved. Food increased AUC and Cmin of ZYFLO CR by 43% and 170%, respectively, but had no effect on Cmax. Therefore, ZYFLO CR is recommended to be administered with food [see Dosage and Administration (2) ]. At steady state, relative bioavailability of ZYFLO CR to zileuton immediate-release tablets with respect to Cmax, Cmin, and AUC were 0.65 (90% CI: 0.60, 0.71), 1.05 (90% CI: 0.88, 1.25) and 0.85 (90% CI: 0.78, 0.92) respectively. These data indicate that at steady state under fed conditions the Cmax of ZYFLO CR is about 35% lower than that of zileuton immediate-release tablets but the Cmin and AUC are similar for both formulations
The apparent volume of distribution (V/F) of zileuton is approximately 1.2 L/kg. Zileuton is 93% bound to plasma proteins, primarily to albumin, with minor binding to α1‑acid glycoprotein.
Elimination of zileuton is predominantly via metabolism with a mean terminal half-life of 3.2 hours. Apparent oral clearance (CL/F) of zileuton is 669 mL/min. Zileuton activity is primarily due to the parent drug. Studies with radiolabeled drug have demonstrated that orally administered zileuton is well absorbed into the systemic circulation with 94.5% and 2.2% of the radiolabeled dose recovered in urine and feces, respectively.
In vitro studies utilizing human liver microsomes have shown that zileuton and its N-dehydroxylated metabolite can be oxidatively metabolized by CYP1A2, CYP2C9 and CYP3A4.
Several zileuton metabolites have been identified in human plasma and urine. These include two diastereomeric O-glucuronide conjugates (major metabolites) and an N-dehydroxylated metabolite (A-66193) of zileuton. The urinary excretion of the inactive A-66193 metabolite and unchanged zileuton each accounted for less than 0.5% of the single radiolabeled dose. Multiple doses of 1200 mg ZYFLO CR twice daily resulted in peak plasma levels of 4.9 µg/mL of the inactive metabolite A-66193 with an AUC of 93 µg∙hr/mL, showing large inter-subject variability. This inactive metabolite has been shown to be formed by the gastrointestinal microflora prior to the absorption of zileuton and its formation increases with delayed absorption of zileuton.
The pharmacokinetics of zileuton immediate-release tablets were similar in healthy subjects and in subjects with mild, moderate, and severe renal insufficiency. In subjects with renal failure requiring hemodialysis, zileuton pharmacokinetics were not altered by hemodialysis and a very small percentage of the administered zileuton dose (<0.5%) was removed by hemodialysis. Hence, dosing adjustment in patients with renal dysfunction or undergoing hemodialysis is not necessary.
The pharmacokinetics of zileuton immediate-release tablets were compared between subjects with mild and moderate chronic hepatic insufficiency. The mean apparent plasma clearance of total zileuton in subjects with hepatic impairment was approximately half the value of the healthy subjects. The percent binding of zileuton to plasma proteins after multiple dosing was significantly reduced in patients with moderate hepatic impairment. ZYFLO CR is contraindicated in patients with active liver disease or persistent ALT elevations ≥3×ULN [see Warnings and Precautions (5) ].
The pharmacokinetics of zileuton immediate-release tablets were investigated in healthy elderly subjects (ages 65 to 81 years, 9 males, 9 females) and healthy young subjects (ages 20 to 40 years, 5 males, 4 females) after single and multiple oral doses of 600 mg zileuton every 6 hours. Zileuton pharmacokinetics were similar in healthy elderly subjects (≥65 years) compared to healthy younger adults (20 to 40 years).
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
In 2-year carcinogenicity studies, increases in the incidence of liver, kidney, and vascular tumors in female mice and a trend toward an increase in the incidence of liver tumors in male mice were observed at 450 mg/kg/day (providing approximately 5 times [females] or 8 times [males] the systemic exposure [AUC=64 µg∙hr/mL] achieved at the maximum recommended human daily oral dose). No increase in the incidence of tumors was observed at 150 mg/kg/day (providing approximately 2-3 times the systemic exposure [AUC] achieved at the maximum recommended human daily oral dose). In rats, an increase in the incidence of kidney tumors was observed in both sexes at 170 mg/kg/day (providing approximately 8 times [males] or 16 times [females] the systemic exposure [AUC] achieved at the maximum recommended human daily oral dose). No increased incidence of kidney tumors was seen at 80 mg/kg/day (providing approximately 4 times [males] or 7 times [females] the systemic exposure [AUC] achieved at the maximum recommended human daily oral dose). Although a dose-related increased incidence of benign Leydig cell tumors was observed, Leydig cell tumorigenesis was prevented by supplementing male rats with testosterone.
Zileuton was negative in genotoxicity studies including bacterial reverse mutation (Ames) using S. typhimurium and E. coli, chromosome aberration in human lymphocytes, in vitro unscheduled DNA synthesis (UDS), in rat hepatocytes with or without zileuton pretreatment and in mouse and rat kidney cells with zileuton pretreatment, and mouse micronucleus assays. However, a dose-related increase in DNA adduct formation was reported in kidneys and livers of female mice treated with zileuton. Although some evidence of DNA damage was observed in a UDS assay in hepatocytes isolated from Aroclor-1254-treated rats, no such finding was noticed in hepatocytes isolated from monkeys, where the metabolic profile of zileuton is more similar to that of humans.
In reproductive performance/fertility studies, zileuton produced no effects on fertility in rats at oral doses up to 300 mg/kg/day (providing approximately 12 times [male rats] and greater than 10 times [female rats] the systemic exposure [AUC] achieved at the maximum recommended human daily oral dose). Comparative systemic exposure (AUC) is based on measurements in male rats or nonpregnant female rats at similar dosages. However, reduction in fetal implants was observed at oral doses of 150 mg/kg/day and higher (providing approximately 10 times the systemic exposure [AUC] achieved at the maximum recommended human daily oral dose). These effects were not seen at an estimated 4 times clinical exposure. Increases in gestation length, prolongation of estrus cycle, and increases in stillbirths were observed at oral doses of 70 mg/kg/day and higher (providing approximately 3 times the systemic exposure [AUC] achieved at the maximum recommended human daily oral dose). In a perinatal/postnatal study in rats, reduced pup survival and growth were noted at an oral dose of 300 mg/kg/day (providing approximately greater than 10 times the systemic exposure [AUC] achieved at the maximum recommended human daily oral dose).