12 CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY
12.1 Mechanism of Action
Eletriptan binds with high affinity to 5-HT1B, 5-HT1D and 5-HT1F receptors, has modest affinity for 5-HT1A, 5-HT1E, 5-HT2B and 5-HT7 receptors.
Migraines are likely due to local cranial vasodilatation and/or to the release of sensory neuropeptides (vasoactive intestinal peptide, substance P and calcitonin gene-related peptide) through nerve endings in the trigeminal system. The therapeutic activity of eletriptan for the treatment of migraine headache is thought to be due to the agonist effects at the 5-HT1B/1D receptors on intracranial blood vessels (including the arterio-venous anastomoses) and sensory nerves of the trigeminal system which result in cranial vessel constriction and inhibition of pro-inflammatory neuropeptide release.
Absorption: Eletriptan is well absorbed after oral administration with peak plasma levels occurring approximately 1.5 hours after dosing to healthy subjects. In patients with moderate to severe migraine the median Tmax is 2.0 hours. The mean absolute bioavailability of eletriptan is approximately 50%. The oral pharmacokinetics are slightly more than dose-proportional over the clinical dose range. The AUC and Cmax of eletriptan are increased by approximately 20 to 30% following oral administration with a high fat meal. Eletriptan can be taken with or without food.
Distribution: The volume of distribution of eletriptan following IV administration is 138L. Plasma protein binding is moderate and approximately 85%.
Metabolism: The N-demethylated metabolite of eletriptan is the only known active metabolite. This metabolite causes vasoconstriction similar to eletriptan in animal models. Though the half-life of the metabolite is estimated to be about 13 hours, the plasma concentration of the N-demethylated metabolite is 10–20% of parent drug and is unlikely to contribute significantly to the overall effect of the parent compound.
Elimination: The terminal elimination half-life of eletriptan is approximately 4 hours. Mean renal clearance (CLR) following oral administration is approximately 3.9 L/h. Non-renal clearance accounts for about 90% of the total clearance.
Age: The pharmacokinetics of eletriptan are generally unaffected by age. Blood pressure was increased to a greater extent in elderly subjects than in young subjects [see Use in Specific Populations (8.5)]. The pharmacokinetic disposition of eletriptan in the elderly is similar to that seen in younger adults.
There is a statistically significant increased half-life (from about 4.4 hours to 5.7 hours) between elderly (65 to 93 years of age) and younger adult subjects (18 to 45 years of age) [see Use in Specific Populations (8.5)].
Race: A comparison of pharmacokinetic studies run in western countries with those run in Japan has indicated an approximate 35% reduction in the exposure of eletriptan in Japanese male volunteers compared to western males. Population pharmacokinetic analysis of two clinical studies indicates no evidence of pharmacokinetic differences between Caucasians and non-Caucasian patients.
Menstrual Cycle: In a study of 16 healthy females, the pharmacokinetics of eletriptan remained consistent throughout the phases of the menstrual cycle.
Renal Impairment: There was no significant change in clearance observed in subjects with mild, moderate or severe renal impairment, though blood pressure elevations were observed in this population [see Warnings and Precautions (5.8)].
Hepatic Impairment: Subjects with mild or moderate hepatic impairment demonstrated an increase in both AUC (34%) and half-life. The Cmax was increased by 18%. No dose adjustment is necessary in subjects with mild or moderate hepatic impairment. The effects of severe hepatic impairment on eletriptan metabolism have not been evaluated [see Use in Specific Populations (8.6)].
Drug Interaction Studies
CYP3A4 inhibitors: In vitro studies have shown that eletriptan is metabolized by the CYP3A4 enzyme. A clinical study demonstrated about a 3-fold increase in Cmax and about a 6-fold increase in the AUC of eletriptan when combined with ketoconazole. The half-life increased from 5 hours to 8 hours and the Tmax increased from 2.8 hours to 5.4 hours. Another clinical study demonstrated about a 2-fold increase in Cmax and about a 4-fold increase in AUC when erythromycin was co-administered with eletriptan. It has also been shown that co-administration of verapamil and eletriptan yields about a 2-fold increase in Cmax and about a 3-fold increase in AUC of eletriptan, and that co-administration of fluconazole and eletriptan yields about a 1.4-fold increase in Cmax and about a 2-fold increase in AUC of eletriptan.
Eletriptan is contraindicated within at least 72 hours of treatment with the following potent CYP3A4 inhibitors: ketoconazole, itraconazole, nefazodone, troleandomycin, clarithromycin, ritonavir and nelfinavir. Eletriptan should not be used within 72 hours with drugs that have demonstrated potent CYP3A4 inhibition [see Contraindications (4)].
Propranolol: The Cmax and AUC of eletriptan were increased by 10 and 33%, respectively, in the presence of propranolol. No interactive increases in blood pressure were observed. No dosage adjustment appears to be needed for patients taking propranolol.
The effect of eletriptan on other drugs: The effect of eletriptan on enzymes other than cytochrome P450 has not been investigated. In vitro human liver microsome studies suggest that eletriptan has little potential to inhibit CYP1A2, 2C9, 2E1 and 3A4 at concentrations up to 100 µM. While eletriptan has an effect on CYP2D6 at high concentration, this effect should not interfere with metabolism of other drugs when eletriptan is used at recommended doses. There is no in vitro or in vivo evidence that clinical doses of eletriptan will induce drug metabolizing enzymes. Therefore, eletriptan is unlikely to cause clinically important drug interactions mediated by these enzymes.