"Scientists at the National Institutes of Health report they have discovered in mouse studies that a small molecule released in the spinal cord triggers a process that is later experienced in the brain as the sensation of itch.
Like other topical corticosteroids, fluticasone propionate has anti-inflammatory, antipruritic, and vasoconstrictive properties. The mechanism of the anti-inflammatory activity of the topical steroids, in general, is unclear. However, corticosteroids are thought to act by the induction of phospholipase A2 inhibitory proteins, collectively called lipocortins. It is postulated that these proteins control the biosynthesis of potent mediators of inflammation such as prostaglandins and leukotrienes by inhibiting the release of their common precursor, arachidonic acid. Arachidonic acid is released from membrane phospholipids by phospholipase A2.
Fluticasone propionate is lipophilic and has a strong affinity for the glucocorticoid receptor. It has weak affinity for the progesterone receptor, and virtually no affinity for the mineralocorticoid, estrogen, or androgen receptors. The therapeutic potency of glucocorticoids is related to the half-life of the glucocorticoid-receptor complex. The half-life of the fluticasone propionate-glucocorticoid receptor complex is approximately i0 hours.
Studies performed with CUTIVATE Ointment (fluticasone propionate ointment) indicate that it is in the medium range of potency as compared with other topical corticosteroids.
Absorption: The activity of CUTIVATE is due to the parent drug, fluticasone propionate. The extent of percutaneous absorption of topical corticosteroids is determined by many factors, including the vehicle and the integrity of the epidermal barrier. Occlusive dressing enhances penetration. Topical corticosteroids can be absorbed from normal intact skin. Inflammation and/or other disease processes in the skin increase percutaneous absorption.
In a study of 6 healthy volunteers applying 25 g of fluticasone propionate ointment 0.005% twice daily to the trunk and legs for up to 5 days under occlusion, plasma levels of fluticasone ranged from 0.08 to 0.22 ng/mL.
In an animal study using radiolabeled 0.05% fluticasone propionate cream and ointment preparations, rats received a topical dose of 1 g/kg for a 24-hour period. Total recovery of radioactivity was approximately 80% at the end of 7 days. The majority of the dose (73%) was recovered from the surface of the application site. Less than 1% of the dose was recovered in the skin at the application site. Approximately 5% of the dose was absorbed systemically through the skin. Absorption from the skin continued for the duration of the study (7 days), indicating a long retention time at the application site.
Distribution: Following intravenous administration of 1 mg of fluticasone propionate in healthy volunteers, the initial disposition phase for fluticasone propionate was rapid and consistent with its high lipid solubility and tissue binding. The apparent volume of distribution averaged 4.2 L/kg (range, 2.3-16.7 L/kg). The percentage of fluticasone propionate bound to human plasma proteins averaged 91%. Fluticasone propionate is weakly and reversibly bound to erythrocytes. Fluticasone propionate is not significantly bound to human transcortin.
Metabolism: No metabolites of fluticasone propionate were detected in an in vitro study of radiolabeled fluticasone propionate incubated in a human skin homogenate. The total blood clearance of systemically absorbed fluticasone propionate averages 1093 mL/min (range, 618-1702 mL/min) after a 1-mg intravenous dose, with renal clearance accounting for less than 0.02% of the total. Fluticasone propionate is metabolized in the liver by cytochrome P450 3A4-mediated hydrolysis of the 5-fluoromethyl carbothioate grouping. This transformation occurs in 1 metabolic step to produce the inactive 17-(3-carboxylic acid metabolite, the only known metabolite detected in man. This metabolite has approximately 2000 times less affinity than the parent drug for the glucocorticoid receptor of human lung cytosol in vitro and negligible pharmacological activity in animal studies. Other metabolites detected in vitro using cultured human hepatoma cells have not been detected in man.
Excretion: Following an intravenous dose of 1 mg in healthy volunteers, fluticasone propionate showed polyexponential kinetics and had an average terminal half-life of 7.2 hours (range, 3.2-11.2 hours).
Last reviewed on RxList: 10/29/2008
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Additional Cutivate Ointment Information
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