Poor applicability of estimation method for adults to calculate unbound serum concentrations of valproic acid in epileptic neonates and infants
To characterize the relationship between total and unbound concentrations of valproic acid (VPA) in epileptic neonates and infants, the clinical examination records of those patients archived via therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) activities were retrospectively analyzed.
The screening encompassed 249 records of 114 epileptic patients aged 0-19 years old, who were treated with VPA monotherapy and whose total and unbound VPA concentrations were determined. These data were divided into groups according to the patients' age. In each group, the relationship between total and unbound VPA concentrations was compared to a reference profile, and the deviation from the reference was evaluated. The reference profile was calculated using the Langmuir equation, in which two parameters Kd and Bm were set to 7.8 and 130 microg/mL, respectively, according to our previous findings.
The relationship between total and unbound VPA concentrations of patients of 0 years old considerably deviated from the reference, and their unbound VPA concentrations were generally higher compared to the corresponding reference values. It is suggested that the large deviation is related to the fact that the serum albumin concentrations of patients younger than 1 year old tend to be lower than those of patients in other age groups.
Since the relationship between the VPA concentrations of epileptic neonates and infants is noticeably different from the reference, the unbound serum VPA concentrations of these patients are not adequately estimated using the same method as that for grown-ups. The unbound VPA concentrations of neonates and infants should be explicitly determined via TDM activities.
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ABSTRACT: The unbound serum concentration of valproic acid (VPA) is closely related to its therapeutic efficacy. In epileptic infants, the unbound VPA concentration varies largely from patient to patient, being difficult to predict using the reported equations for older children. To establish an equation to estimate the unbound concentration in infants, we empirically characterized the relationship between total and unbound VPA concentrations, taking their growth and development into consideration. Data were retrospectively collected from archived clinical records of 30 epileptic infants aged 0-11 months old. The relationship between total and unbound VPA concentrations was analyzed according to the Langmuir equation, in which the patient's body weight, height, and body surface area were considered as physical development indices. Inter- and intra-individual variabilities in the VPA concentrations were also considered. It was shown that the unbound VPA concentration in infants is properly estimated when their body weights are taken into account, in which the parameter for the maximum binding site concentration (Bm) increases as the body weight increases, while that for the dissociation constant (Kd) is unaltered. Additionally, the relationship was shown to slightly change when the infants are concomitantly treated with VPA and the other antiepileptics. These findings provide useful information to adjust the VPA dosage to achieve optimal therapeutic efficacy in epileptic infants.
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ABSTRACT: Although the principles of drug disposition also apply in neonates, their specific characteristics warrant focussed assessment. Children display maturation in drug disposition, but this is most prominent in the first year of life. Besides maturational aspects of drug absorption and distribution, maturation mainly relates to (renal) elimination and (hepatic) metabolic clearance. Renal elimination clearance in early life is low and almost completely depends on glomerular filtration. Despite the overall low clearance, interindividual variability is already extensive and can be predicted by covariates like postmenstrual age, postnatal age, co-administration of a non-selective cyclo-oxygenase inhibitor, growth restriction or peripartal asphyxia. These findings are illustrated by observations on amikacin and vancomycin. Variation in phenotypic metabolic clearance is based on constitutional, environmental and genetic characteristics. In early life, it mainly reflects ontogeny, but other covariates may also become relevant. Almost all phase I and phase II metabolic processes display ontogeny in a iso-enzyme specific pattern. The impact of covariates like postmenstrual age, postnatal age, disease state characteristics and polymorphisms are illustrated based or 'probe' drugs (paracetamol, tramadol, propofol) administered as part of their medical treatment in critically ill neonates. The description of a compound specific pattern is beyond compound specific relevance. The maturational patterns described and the extent of the impact of covariates can subsequently be applied to predict in vivo time-concentration profiles for compounds that undergo similar routes of elimination. Through improved predictability, such maturational models can serve to improve both the clinical care and feasibility and safety of clinical studies in neonates.
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ABSTRACT: Valproic acid is an anti-convulscant drug that is widely used in the treatment of different types of epilepsy and since its introduction the clinical use has increased rapidly both as a sole agent and in combination therapies. The mechanism of action has been linked to blockade of voltage-dependent sodium channels and potentiation of GABAergic transmission. The most widely used route of administration of valproic acid is oral, although it can also be given intravenously and rectally and its pharmacokinetics has been studied extensively. The aim of this work was to develop a physiologically based pharmacokinetic model for plasma and tissue/organ prediction in children and adults following intravenous and oral dosing of valproic acid. The plasma/tissue concentration profile will be used for clinical trial simulation in Dravet syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy in children where the combination of valproic acid, stiripentol and clobazam has shown remarkable results. A physiologically based pharmacokinetic model was developed with compartments for gut lumen, enterocyte, gut tissue, systemic blood, kidney, liver, brain, spleen, muscle and rest of body. System and drug specific parameters for the model were obtained from the literature from in vitro and in vivo experiments. The model was initially developed for adults and scaled to children using age-dependent changes in anatomical and physiological parameters and ontogeny functions for enzyme maturation assuming the same elimination pathways in adults and children. The results from the model validation showed satisfactory prediction of plasma concentration both in terms of mean prediction and variability in children and adults following intravenous and oral dosing especially after single doses. The model also adequately predicts clearance in children. Due to limited distribution of valproic acid into tissues, the concentration in plasma is about 8-9 times higher than tissues/organs. The model could help to improve clinical outcome in the treatment of Dravet syndrome through dose optimisation.
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