Pharmacokinetics, safety and tolerability of rotigotine transdermal patch in healthy Japanese and Caucasian subjects

Willi Cawello, Seong R Kim, Marina Braun, Jan-Peer Elshoff, Junji Ikeda, Tomoo Funaki
Clinical Drug Investigation 2014, 34 (2): 95-105

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Rotigotine is a dopamine receptor agonist with activity across the D1 through to D5 receptors as well as select serotonergic and adrenergic sites; continuous transdermal delivery of rotigotine with replacement of the patch once daily maintains stable plasma concentrations over 24 h. Rotigotine is indicated for the treatment of early and advanced-stage Parkinson's disease and moderate-to-severe idiopathic restless legs syndrome. The pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of a drug may vary between subjects of different ethnic origin. This study evaluated the pharmacokinetics, safety, and tolerability of single-dose treatment with rotigotine transdermal patch in Japanese and Caucasian subjects.

METHODS: In this open-label, parallel-group study, healthy male and female subjects of Japanese or Caucasian ethnic origin were matched by sex, body mass index, and age. A single transdermal patch delivering 2 mg/24 h rotigotine (patch content 4.5 mg) was applied to the ventral/lateral abdomen for 24 h. The main outcome measures were the plasma concentrations of unconjugated and total rotigotine and its desalkyl metabolites and derived pharmacokinetic parameters (area under the concentration-time curve from time zero to last quantifiable concentration [AUClast], maximum plasma concentration [Cmax], and body weight- and dose-normalized values).

RESULTS: The pharmacokinetic analysis included 48 subjects (24 Japanese, 24 Caucasian). The mean apparent dose of rotigotine was 2.0±0.5 mg for Japanese subjects and 2.08±0.58 mg for Caucasians. Plasma concentration-time profiles of unconjugated rotigotine and of the main metabolites were similar for both ethnic groups. Parameters of model-independent pharmacokinetics, Cmax, time to Cmax (tmax), and AUClast, for unconjugated rotigotine showed no statistically significant differences between Japanese and Caucasian subjects. Values of concentration-dependent pharmacokinetic parameters were higher in female subjects; this difference was minimized after correction for body weight. A statistically significant difference between ethnic groups was observed for total rotigotine concentrations (total rotigotine=unconjugated rotigotine+conjugated rotigotine), with slightly lower values in Caucasians after correction for body weight and apparent dose. No relevant differences were observed between males and females. Inter-individual variability was high. The terminal half-life for unconjugated rotigotine was 5.3 h in Japanese subjects and 5.7 h in Caucasians; corresponding values for total rotigotine were 8.6 h and 9.6 h. Less than 0.1% of the apparent dose was renally excreted as the parent compound. Renal elimination of total rotigotine covers 11.7% of absorbed dose in Japanese subjects and 10.8% of the absorbed dose in Caucasians, whereas the renal elimination via total despropyl rotigotine was 8.2 and 7.1%, respectively. The corresponding values for total desthienylethyl rotigotine were 3.5% in Japanese subjects and 4.2% Caucasians. Most adverse events were mild in intensity and typical for dopamine agonists or for transdermal therapeutics.

CONCLUSION: Administration of a single patch delivering 2 mg/24 h rotigotine resulted in comparable pharmacokinetic profiles in Japanese and Caucasian subjects. The rotigotine transdermal patch was generally well-tolerated. Our findings suggest similar dose requirements for Japanese and Caucasian populations.

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