12 CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY
12.1 Mechanism of Action
Bivalirudin directly inhibits thrombin by specifically binding both to the catalytic site and to the anion-binding exosite of circulating and clot-bound thrombin. Thrombin is a serine proteinase that plays a central role in the thrombotic process, acting to cleave fibrinogen into fibrin monomers and to activate Factor XIII to Factor XIIIa, allowing fibrin to develop a covalently cross-linked framework which stabilizes the thrombus; thrombin also activates Factors V and VIII, promoting further thrombin generation, and activates platelets, stimulating aggregation and granule release. The binding of bivalirudin to thrombin is reversible as thrombin slowly cleaves the bivalirudin-Arg3-Pro4 bond, resulting in recovery of thrombin active site functions.
In in vitro studies, bivalirudin inhibited both soluble (free) and clot-bound thrombin, was not neutralized by products of the platelet release reaction, and prolonged the activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT), thrombin time (TT), and prothrombin time (PT) of normal human plasma in a concentration-dependent manner. The clinical relevance of these findings is unknown.
In healthy volunteers and patients (with ≥70% vessel occlusion undergoing routine PTCA), bivalirudin exhibited dose- and concentration-dependent anticoagulant activity as evidenced by prolongation of the ACT, aPTT, PT, and TT. Intravenous administration of bivalirudin produces an immediate anticoagulant effect. Coagulation times return to baseline approximately 1 hour following cessation of bivalirudin administration. Bivalirudin also increases INR. Therefore, INR measurements made in bivalirudin treated patients may not be useful for determining the appropriate dose of warfarin.
In 291 patients with ≥70% vessel occlusion undergoing routine PTCA, a positive correlation was observed between the dose of bivalirudin and the proportion of patients achieving ACT values of 300 sec or 350 sec. At a bivalirudin dose of 1 mg/kg IV bolus plus 2.5 mg/kg/h IV infusion for 4 hours, followed by 0.2 mg/kg/h, all patients reached maximal ACT values >300 sec.
Bivalirudin exhibits linear pharmacokinetics following IV administration to patients undergoing PTCA. In these patients, a mean steady state bivalirudin concentration of 12.3 ± 1.7 mcg/mL is achieved following an IV bolus of 1 mg/kg and a 4-hour 2.5 mg/kg/h IV infusion.
Bivalirudin does not bind to plasma proteins (other than thrombin) or to red blood cells.
Bivalirudin has a half-life of 25 minutes in PTCA patients with normal renal function. The total body clearance of bivalirudin in PTCA patients with normal renal function is 3.4 mL/min/kg.
Patients with Renal Impairment
Total body clearance was similar for PTCA patients with normal renal function and with mild renal impairment. Clearance was reduced by 21% in patients with moderate and severe renal impairment with a half-life of 34 and 57 minutes, respectively. In dialysis patients, clearance was reduced by 70%, with a half-life of 3.5 hours. Approximately 25% bivalirudin is cleared by hemodialysis.