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Tuesday 05 June 2007

A pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic approach to predict total prednisolone concentrations in human plasma.

By: Xu J, Winkler J, Derendorf H.

J Pharmacokinet Pharmacodyn 2007 Jun;34(3):355-72

Prednisolone and prednisone are two widely used corticosteroids for various inflammatory and immune diseases. Prednisolone is the active form of prednisone in vivo. Total prednisolone in plasma exhibits nonlinear pharmacokinetics mainly due to its nonlinear protein binding. Other factors such as reversible metabolism (or interconversion between prednisolone and prednisone), competitive protein binding from endogenous cortisol, cortisol circadian rhythm, and prednisolone mediated cortisol suppression complicate prednisolone pharmacokinetics. This study was aimed to develop a new approach to describe the nonlinear pharmacokinetics of total prednisolone and predict total prednisolone concentrations in plasma. Based on literature datasets, a linear two-compartment pharmacokinetic model was developed to adequately describe the reversible metabolism between free prednisone and prednisolone. Cortisol and prednisolone protein binding were described via the sum of a Langmuir and linear type binding. The endogenous cortisol circadian rhythm and cortisol suppression during prednisone or prednisolone exposure were described with a previously reported linear release rate pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) model. By combining the pharmacokinetic models for free prednisone and prednisolone, the linear release rate model for cortisol suppression, and competitive protein binding between cortisol and prednisolone, we were able to predict total prednisolone concentrations in plasma. The predicted total prednisolone concentrations in plasma were in good agreement with the literature reported data. Thus, this PK/PD approach shows that the combination of nonlinear protein binding, cortisol circadian rhythm, and cortisol suppression could account for the nonlinearity of total prednisolone. In addition, it also allows a valid prediction of total prednisolone in plasma after either prednisone or prednisolone administration.

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