"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved the first generic versions of Aciphex (rabeprazole sodium) delayed-release tablets, used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in adults and adolescents (ages 12 and up).
Mechanism Of Action
Pantoprazole is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) that suppresses the final step in gastric acid production by covalently binding to the (H+, K+)-ATPase enzyme system at the secretory surface of the gastric parietal cell. This effect leads to inhibition of both basal and stimulated gastric acid secretion, irrespective of the stimulus. The binding to the (H+, K+)-ATPase results in a duration of antisecretory effect that persists longer than 24 hours for all doses tested (20 mg to 120 mg).
PROTONIX (pantoprazole sodium) For Delayed-Release Oral Suspension, 40 mg has been shown to be comparable to PROTONIX (pantoprazole sodium) Delayed-Release Tablets in suppressing pentagastrin-stimulated MAO in patients (n = 49) with GERD and a history of EE. In this multicenter, pharmacodynamic crossover study, a 40 mg oral dose of PROTONIX For Delayed-Release Oral Suspension administered in a teaspoonful of applesauce was compared with a 40 mg oral dose of PROTONIX Delayed-Release Tablets after administration of each formulation once daily for 7 days. Both medications were administered thirty minutes before breakfast. Pentagastrin-stimulated (MAO) was assessed from hour 23 to 24 at steady state.
Under maximal acid stimulatory conditions using pentagastrin, a dose-dependent decrease in gastric acid output occurs after a single dose of oral (20-80 mg) or a single dose of intravenous (20-120 mg) pantoprazole in healthy volunteers. Pantoprazole given once daily results in increasing inhibition of gastric acid secretion. Following the initial oral dose of 40 mg pantoprazole, a 51% mean inhibition was achieved by 2.5 hours. With once-a-day dosing for 7 days, the mean inhibition was increased to 85%. Pantoprazole suppressed acid secretion in excess of 95% in half of the subjects. Acid secretion had returned to normal within a week after the last dose of pantoprazole; there was no evidence of rebound hypersecretion.
In a series of dose-response studies, pantoprazole, at oral doses ranging from 20 to 120 mg, caused dose-related increases in median basal gastric pH and in the percent of time gastric pH was > 3 and > 4. Treatment with 40 mg of pantoprazole produced significantly greater increases in gastric pH than the 20 mg dose. Doses higher than 40 mg (60, 80, 120 mg) did not result in further significant increases in median gastric pH. The effects of pantoprazole on median pH from one double-blind crossover study are shown in Table 4.
Table 4: Effect of Single Daily Doses of Oral
Pantoprazole on Intragastric pH
|Time||Median pH on day 7|
|Placebo||20 mg||40 mg||80 mg|
|8 a.m. - 8 a.m. (24 hours)||1.3||2.9*||3.8*#||3.9*#|
|8 a.m. - 10 p.m. (Daytime)||1.6||3.2*||4.4*#||4.8*#|
|10 p.m. - 8 a.m. (Nighttime)||1.2||2.1*||3.0*||2.6*|
|* Significantly different from placebo
# Significantly different from 20 mg
Serum Gastrin Effects
Fasting serum gastrin levels were assessed in two double-blind studies of the acute healing of erosive esophagitis (EE) in which 682 patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) received 10, 20, or 40 mg of PROTONIX for up to 8 weeks. At 4 weeks of treatment there was an increase in mean gastrin levels of 7%, 35%, and 72% over pretreatment values in the 10, 20, and 40 mg treatment groups, respectively. A similar increase in serum gastrin levels was noted at the 8-week visit with mean increases of 3%, 26%, and 84% for the three pantoprazole dose groups. Median serum gastrin levels remained within normal limits during maintenance therapy with PROTONIX Delayed-Release Tablets.
In long-term international studies involving over 800 patients, a 2-to 3-fold mean increase from the pretreatment fasting serum gastrin level was observed in the initial months of treatment with pantoprazole at doses of 40 mg per day during GERD maintenance studies and 40 mg or higher per day in patients with refractory GERD. Fasting serum gastrin levels generally remained at approximately 2 to 3 times baseline for up to 4 years of periodic follow-up in clinical trials.
Following short-term treatment with PROTONIX, elevated gastrin levels return to normal by at least 3 months.
Enterochromaffin-Like (ECL) Cell Effects
In 39 patients treated with oral pantoprazole 40 mg to 240 mg daily (majority receiving 40 mg to 80 mg) for up to 5 years, there was a moderate increase in ECL-cell density, starting after the first year of use, which appeared to plateau after 4 years.
In a nonclinical study in Sprague-Dawley rats, lifetime exposure (24 months) to pantoprazole at doses of 0.5 to 200 mg/kg/day resulted in dose-related increases in gastric ECL cell proliferation and gastric neuroendocrine (NE)-cell tumors. Gastric NE-cell tumors in rats may result from chronic elevation of serum gastrin concentrations. The high density of ECL cells in the rat stomach makes this species highly susceptible to the proliferative effects of elevated gastrin concentrations produced by proton pump inhibitors. However, there were no observed elevations in serum gastrin following the administration of pantoprazole at a dose of 0.5 mg/kg/day. In a separate study, a gastric NE-cell tumor without concomitant ECL-cell proliferative changes was observed in 1 female rat following 12 months of dosing with pantoprazole at 5 mg/kg/day and a 9 month off-dose recovery [see Nonclinical Toxicology].
PROTONIX Delayed-Release Tablets are prepared as enteric-coated tablets so that absorption of pantoprazole begins only after the tablet leaves the stomach. Peak serum concentration (Cmax) and area under the serum concentration time curve (AUC) increase in a manner proportional to oral and intravenous doses from 10 mg to 80 mg. Pantoprazole does not accumulate, and its pharmacokinetics are unaltered with multiple daily dosing. Following oral or intravenous administration, the serum concentration of pantoprazole declines biexponentially, with a terminal elimination half-life of approximately one hour.
In extensive metabolizers with normal liver function receiving an oral dose of the entericcoated 40 mg pantoprazole tablet, the peak concentration (Cmax) is 2.5 μg/mL; the time to reach the peak concentration (tmax) is 2.5 h, and the mean total area under the plasma concentration versus time curve (AUC) is 4.8 μg•h/mL (range 1.4 to 13.3 μg•h/mL). Following intravenous administration of pantoprazole to extensive metabolizers, its total clearance is 7.6-14.0 L/h, and its apparent volume of distribution is 11.0-23.6 L.
A single oral dose of PROTONIX For Delayed-Release Oral Suspension, 40 mg, was shown to be bioequivalent when administered to healthy subjects (N = 22) as granules sprinkled over a teaspoonful of applesauce, as granules mixed with apple juice, or mixed with apple juice followed by administration through a nasogastric tube. The plasma pharmacokinetic parameters from a crossover study in healthy subjects are summarized in Table 5.
Table 5: Pharmacokinetics Parameters (mean ± SD) of
PROTONIX For Delayed-Release Oral Suspension at 40 mg
|Pharmacokinetic Parameters||Granules in Applesauce||Granules in Apple Juice||Granules in Nasogastric Tube|
|AUC (μg•hr/mL)||4.0 ± 1.5||4.0 ± 1.5||4.1 ± 1.7|
|Cmax (μg/mL)||2.0 ± 0.7||1.9 ± 0.5||2.2 ± 0.7|
|aMedian values are reported for Tmax.|
After administration of a single or multiple oral 40 mg doses of PROTONIX Delayed-Release Tablets, the peak plasma concentration of pantoprazole was achieved in approximately 2.5 hours, and Cmax was 2.5 μg/mL. Pantoprazole undergoes little first-pass metabolism, resulting in an absolute bioavailability of approximately 77%. Pantoprazole absorption is not affected by concomitant administration of antacids.
Administration of PROTONIX Delayed-Release Tablets with food may delay its absorption up to 2 hours or longer; however, the Cmax and the extent of pantoprazole absorption (AUC) are not altered. Thus, PROTONIX Delayed-Release Tablets may be taken without regard to timing of meals.
Administration of pantoprazole granules, 40 mg, with a high-fat meal delayed median time to peak plasma concentration by 2 hours. With a concomitant high-fat meal, the Cmax and AUC of pantoprazole granules, 40 mg, sprinkled on applesauce decreased by 51% and 29%, respectively. Thus, PROTONIX For Delayed-Release Oral Suspension should be taken approximately 30 minutes before a meal.
The apparent volume of distribution of pantoprazole is approximately 11.0-23.6 L, distributing mainly in extracellular fluid. The serum protein binding of pantoprazole is about 98%, primarily to albumin.
Pantoprazole is extensively metabolized in the liver through the cytochrome P450 (CYP) system. Pantoprazole metabolism is independent of the route of administration (intravenous or oral). The main metabolic pathway is demethylation, by CYP2C19, with subsequent sulfation; other metabolic pathways include oxidation by CYP3A4. There is no evidence that any of the pantoprazole metabolites have significant pharmacologic activity.
After a single oral or intravenous dose of 14C-labeled pantoprazole to healthy, normal metabolizer volunteers, approximately 71% of the dose was excreted in the urine, with 18% excreted in the feces through biliary excretion. There was no renal excretion of unchanged pantoprazole.
Only slight to moderate increases in pantoprazole AUC (43%) and Cmax (26%) were found in elderly volunteers (64 to 76 years of age) after repeated oral administration, compared with younger subjects. No dosage adjustment is recommended based on age.
The pharmacokinetics of pantoprazole were studied in children less than 16 years of age in four randomized, open-label clinical trials in pediatric patients with presumed/proven GERD. A pediatric granule formulation was studied in children through 5 years of age, and PROTONIX Delayed-Release Tablets were studied in children older than 5 years.
In a population PK analysis, total clearance increased with increasing bodyweight in a non-linear fashion. The total clearance also increased with increasing age only in children under 3 years of age.
Neonate through 5 years of age
Children and Adolescents 6 through 16 Years of Age
The pharmacokinetics of PROTONIX Delayed-Release Tablets were evaluated in children ages 6 through 16 years with a clinical diagnosis of GERD. The PK parameters following a single oral dose of 20 mg or 40 mg of PROTONIX tablets in children ages 6 through 16 years were highly variable (%CV ranges 40 to 80%). The geometric mean AUC estimated from population PK analysis after a 40 mg PROTONIX tablet in pediatric patients was about 39% and 10% higher respectively in 6 to 11 and 12 to 16 year-old children, compared to that of adults (Table 6).
Table 6: PK Parameters in Children and Adolescents 6
through 16 years with GERD receiving 40 mg PROTONIX Tablets
|aGeometric mean values
There is a modest increase in pantoprazole AUC and Cmax in women compared to men. However, weight-normalized clearance values are similar in women and men. No dosage adjustment is recommended based on gender. In pediatric patients ages 1 through 16 years there were no clinically relevant effects of gender on clearance of pantoprazole, as shown by population pharmacokinetic analysis.
In patients with severe renal impairment, pharmacokinetic parameters for pantoprazole were similar to those of healthy subjects. No dosage adjustment is necessary in patients with renal impairment or in patients undergoing hemodialysis.
In patients with mild to severe hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh A to C cirrhosis), maximum pantoprazole concentrations increased only slightly (1.5-fold) relative to healthy subjects. Although serum half-life values increased to 7-9 hours and AUC values increased by 5-to 7-fold in hepatic-impaired patients, these increases were no greater than those observed in CYP2C19 poor metabolizers, where no dosage adjustment is warranted. These pharmacokinetic changes in hepatic-impaired patients result in minimal drug accumulation following once-daily, multiple-dose administration. No dosage adjustment is needed in patients with mild to severe hepatic impairment. Doses higher than 40 mg/day have not been studied in hepatically impaired patients.
Pantoprazole is metabolized mainly by CYP2C19 and to minor extents by CYPs 3A4, 2D6, and 2C9. In in vivo drug-drug interaction studies with CYP2C19 substrates (diazepam [also a CYP3A4 substrate] and phenytoin [also a CYP3A4 inducer] and clopidogrel), nifedipine, midazolam, and clarithromycin (CYP3A4 substrates), metoprolol (a CYP2D6 substrate), diclofenac, naproxen and piroxicam (CYP2C9 substrates), and theophylline (a CYP1A2 substrate) in healthy subjects, the pharmacokinetics of pantoprazole were not significantly altered.
Clopidogrel: Clopidogrel is metabolized to its active metabolite in part by CYP2C19. In a crossover clinical study, 66 healthy subjects were administered clopidogrel (300 mg loading dose followed by 75 mg per day) alone and with pantoprazole (80 mg at the same time as clopidogrel) for 5 days. On Day 5, the mean AUC of the active metabolite of clopidogrel was reduced by approximately 14% (geometric mean ratio was 86%, with 90% CI of 79 to 93%) when pantoprazole was coadministered with clopidogrel as compared to clopidogrel administered alone. Pharmacodynamic parameters were also measured and demonstrated that the change in inhibition of platelet aggregation (induced by 5 μM ADP) was correlated with the change in the exposure to clopidogrel active metabolite. The clinical significance of this finding is not clear.
Mycophenolate Mofetil (MMF): Administration of pantoprazole 40 mg twice daily for 4 days and a single 1000 mg dose of MMF approximately one hour after the last dose of pantoprazole to 12 healthy subjects in a cross-over study resulted in a 57% reduction in the Cmax and 27% reduction in the AUC of MPA. Transplant patients receiving approximately 2000 mg per day of MMF (n=12) were compared to transplant patients receiving approximately the same dose of MMF and pantoprazole 40 mg per day (n=21). There was a 78% reduction in the Cmax and a 45% reduction in the AUC of MPA in patients receiving both pantoprazole and MMF.
In vivo studies also suggest that pantoprazole does not significantly affect the kinetics of the following drugs (cisapride, theophylline, diazepam [and its active metabolite, desmethyldiazepam], phenytoin, warfarin, metoprolol, nifedipine, carbamazepine, midazolam, clarithromycin, naproxen, piroxicam, and oral contraceptives [levonorgestrel/ethinyl estradiol]). Dosage adjustment of these drugs is not necessary when they are coadministered with pantoprazole. In other in vivo studies, digoxin, ethanol, glyburide, antipyrine, caffeine, metronidazole, and amoxicillin had no clinically relevant interactions with pantoprazole.
Based on studies evaluating possible interactions of pantoprazole with other drugs, no dosage adjustment is needed with concomitant use of the following: theophylline, cisapride, antipyrine, caffeine, carbamazepine, diazepam (and its active metabolite, desmethyldiazepam), diclofenac, naproxen, piroxicam, digoxin, ethanol, glyburide, an oral contraceptive (levonorgestrel/ethinyl estradiol), metoprolol, nifedipine, phenytoin, warfarin, midazolam, clarithromycin, metronidazole, or amoxicillin.
There was also no interaction with concomitantly administered antacids.
Although no significant drug-drug interactions have been observed in clinical studies, the potential for significant drug-drug interactions with more than once-daily dosing with high doses of pantoprazole has not been studied in poor metabolizers or individuals who are hepatically impaired.
In a clinical pharmacology study, PROTONIX 40 mg given once daily for 2 weeks had no effect on the levels of the following hormones: cortisol, testosterone, triiodothyronine (T3), thyroxine (T4), thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), thyronine-binding protein, parathyroid hormone, insulin, glucagon, renin, aldosterone, follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, prolactin, and growth hormone.
In a 1-year study of GERD patients treated with PROTONIX 40 mg or 20 mg, there were no changes from baseline in overall levels of T3, T4, and TSH.
CYP2C19 displays a known genetic polymorphism due to its deficiency in some subpopulations (e.g., approximately 3% of Caucasians and African-Americans and 17% to 23% of Asians are poor metabolizers). Although these subpopulations of pantoprazole poor metabolizers have elimination half-life values of 3.5 to 10.0 hours in adults, they still have minimal accumulation ( ≤ 23%) with once-daily dosing. For adult patients who are CYP2C19 poor metabolizers, no dosage adjustment is needed.
Similar to adults, pediatric patients who have the poor metabolizer genotype of CYP2C19 (CYP2C19 *2/*2) exhibited greater than a 6-fold increase in AUC compared to pediatric extensive (CYP2C19 *1/*1) and intermediate (CYP2C19 *1/*x) metabolizers. Poor metabolizers exhibited approximately 10-fold lower apparent oral clearance compared to extensive metabolizers.
For known pediatric poor metabolizers, a dose reduction should be considered.
Animal Toxicology And/Or Pharmacology
Studies in neonatal/juvenile and adult rats and dogs were performed. The data from these studies revealed that animals in both age groups respond to pantoprazole in a similar manner. Gastric alterations, including increased stomach weights, increased incidence of eosinophilic chief cells in adult and neonatal/juvenile rats, and atrophy of chief cells in adult rats and in neonatal/juvenile dogs, were observed in the fundic mucosa of stomachs in repeated-dose studies. Decreases in red cell mass parameters, increases in cholesterol and triglycerides, increased liver weight, enzyme induction, and hepatocellular hypertrophy were also seen in repeated-dose studies in rats and/or dogs. Full to partial recovery of these effects were noted in animals of both age groups following a recovery period.
Reproductive Toxicology Studies
Reproduction studies have been performed in rats at oral doses up to 450 mg/kg/day (88 times the recommended human dose based on body surface area) and rabbits at oral doses up to 40 mg/kg/day (16 times the recommended human dose based on body surface area) and have revealed no evidence of impaired fertility or harm to the fetus due to pantoprazole.
PROTONIX Delayed-Release Tablets were used in the following clinical trials.
Erosive Esophagitis (EE) Associated With Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
A US multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of PROTONIX 10 mg, 20 mg, or 40 mg once daily was conducted in 603 patients with reflux symptoms and endoscopically diagnosed EE of grade 2 or above (Hetzel-Dent scale). In this study, approximately 25% of enrolled patients had severe EE of grade 3, and 10% had grade 4. The percentages of patients healed (per protocol, n = 541) in this study are shown in Table 7.
Table 7: Erosive Esophagitis Healing Rates (Per
(n = 68)
|10 mg daily
(n = 153)
|20 mg daily
(n = 158)
|40 mg daily
(n = 162)
|+ (p < 0.001) PROTONIX versus placebo
* (p < 0.05) versus 10 mg or 20 mg PROTONIX
# (p < 0.05) versus 10 mg PROTONIX
In this study, all PROTONIX treatment groups had significantly greater healing rates than the placebo group. This was true regardless of H. pylori status for the 40 mg and 20 mg PROTONIX treatment groups. The 40 mg dose of PROTONIX resulted in healing rates significantly greater than those found with either the 20 mg or 10 mg dose.
A significantly greater proportion of patients taking PROTONIX 40 mg experienced complete relief of daytime and nighttime heartburn and the absence of regurgitation, starting from the first day of treatment, compared with placebo. Patients taking PROTONIX consumed significantly fewer antacid tablets per day than those taking placebo.
PROTONIX 40 mg and 20 mg once daily were also compared with nizatidine 150 mg twice daily in a US multicenter, double-blind study of 243 patients with reflux symptoms and endoscopically diagnosed EE of grade 2 or above. The percentages of patients healed (per protocol, n = 212) are shown in Table 8.
Table 8: Erosive Esophagitis Healing Rates (Per
|Week||PROTONIX||Nizatidine 150 mg twice daily
(n = 70)
|20 mg daily
(n = 72)
|40 mg daily
(n = 70)
|+ (p < 0.001) PROTONIX versus nizatidine|
Once-daily treatment with PROTONIX 40 mg or 20 mg resulted in significantly superior rates of healing at both 4 and 8 weeks compared with twice-daily treatment with 150 mg of nizatidine. For the 40 mg treatment group, significantly greater healing rates compared to nizatidine were achieved regardless of the H. pylori status.
A significantly greater proportion of the patients in the PROTONIX treatment groups experienced complete relief of nighttime heartburn and regurgitation, starting on the first day and of daytime heartburn on the second day, compared with those taking nizatidine 150 mg twice daily. Patients taking PROTONIX consumed significantly fewer antacid tablets per day than those taking nizatidine.
Pediatric Patients Ages 5 Years through 16 Years
The efficacy of PROTONIX in the treatment of EE associated with GERD in pediatric patients ages 5 years through 16 years is extrapolated from adequate and well-conducted trials in adults, as the pathophysiology is thought to be the same. Four pediatric patients with endoscopically diagnosed EE were studied in multicenter, randomized, double-blind, parallel-treatment trials. Children with endoscopically diagnosed EE (defined as an endoscopic Hetzel-Dent score ≥ 2) were treated once daily for 8 weeks with one of two dose levels of PROTONIX (20 mg or 40 mg). All 4 patients with EE were healed (Hetzel-Dent score of 0 or 1) at 8 weeks.
Long-Term Maintenance Of Healing Of Erosive Esophagitis
Two independent, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, comparator-controlled trials of identical design were conducted in adult GERD patients with endoscopically confirmed healed erosive esophagitis to demonstrate efficacy of PROTONIX in long-term maintenance of healing. The two US studies enrolled 386 and 404 patients, respectively, to receive either 10 mg, 20 mg, or 40 mg of PROTONIX Delayed-Release Tablets once daily or 150 mg of ranitidine twice daily. As demonstrated in Table 9, PROTONIX 40 mg and 20 mg were significantly superior to ranitidine at every timepoint with respect to the maintenance of healing. In addition, PROTONIX 40 mg was superior to all other treatments studied.
Table 9: Long-Term Maintenance of Healing of Erosive
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD Maintenance): Percentage of Patients Who
|PROTONIX 20 mg daily||PROTONIX 40 mg daily||Ranitidine 150 mg twice daily|
|Study 1||n = 75||n = 74||n = 75|
|Study 2||n=74||n = 88||n = 84|
|* (p < 0.05 vs. ranitidine)
# (p < 0.05 vs. PROTONIX 20 mg)
Note: PROTONIX 10 mg was superior (p < 0.05) to ranitidine in Study 2, but not Study 1.
PROTONIX 40 mg was superior to ranitidine in reducing the number of daytime and nighttime heartburn episodes from the first through the twelfth month of treatment. PROTONIX 20 mg, administered once daily, was also effective in reducing episodes of daytime and nighttime heartburn in one trial, as presented in Table 10.
Table 10: Number of Episodes of Heartburn (mean ± SD)
|PROTONIX 40 mg daily||Ranitidine 150 mg twice daily|
|Month 1||Daytime||5.1 ± 1.6*||18.3 ± 1.6|
|Nighttime||3.9 ± 1.1*||11.9 ± 1.1|
|Month 12||Daytime||2.9 ± 1.5*||17.5 ± 1.5|
|Nighttime||2.5 ± 1.2*||13.8 ± 1.3|
|* (p < 0.001 vs. ranitidine, combined data from the two US studies)|
Pathological Hypersecretory Conditions Including Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome
In a multicenter, open-label trial of 35 patients with pathological hypersecretory conditions, such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, with or without multiple endocrine neoplasia-type I, PROTONIX successfully controlled gastric acid secretion. Doses ranging from 80 mg daily to 240 mg daily maintained gastric acid output below 10 mEq/h in patients without prior acid-reducing surgery and below 5 mEq/h in patients with prior acid-reducing surgery.
Doses were initially titrated to the individual patient needs, and adjusted in some patients based on the clinical response with time [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION]. PROTONIX was well tolerated at these dose levels for prolonged periods (greater than 2 years in some patients).
Last reviewed on RxList: 1/12/2015
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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