"Nov. 2, 2012 -- Safety steps taken in the wake of the fungal meningitis outbreak have worsened drug shortages, raising questions about whether the U.S. must choose between the safety and the availability of crucial medicines.
Mechanism of Action
Carisoprodol: The mechanism of action of carisoprodol in relieving discomfort associated with acute painful musculoskeletal conditions has not been clearly identified. In animal studies, muscle relaxation induced by carisoprodol is associated with altered interneuronal activity in the spinal cord and in the descending reticular formation of the brain.
Aspirin: The mechanism of action of aspirin in relieving pain is by inhibition of the body's production of prostaglandins, which are thought to cause pain sensations by stimulating muscle contractions and dilating blood vessels.
Carisoprodol: Carisoprodol is a centrally-acting muscle relaxant that does not directly relax skeletal muscles. A metabolite of carisoprodol, meprobamate, has anxiolytic and sedative properties. The degree to which these properties of meprobamate contribute to the safety and efficacy of carisoprodol is unknown.
Aspirin: Aspirin is a non-narcotic analgesic with anti-inflammatory and anti-pyretic activity. Inhibition of prostaglandin biosynthesis appears to account for most of its anti-inflammatory and for at least part of its analgesic and antipyretic properties. In the CNS, aspirin works on the hypothalamus heat-regulating center to reduce fever. Aspirin can cause serious gastrointestinal injury including bleeding, obstruction, and perforations from ulcers possibly by inhibition of the production of prostaglandins, compromising the defenses of the gastric mucosa and the activity of substances involved in tissue repair and ulcer healing (see WARNINGS). Aspirin inhibits platelet aggregation by irreversibly inhibiting prostaglandin cyclo-oxygenase. This effect lasts for the life of the platelet and prevents the formation of the platelet aggregating factor thromboxane A2.
The pharmacokinetics of carisoprodol and its metabolite meprobamate were studied in a study of 24 healthy subjects (12 male and 12 female) who received single doses of 350 mg of carisoprodol (see Table 1). The Cmax of meprobamate was 2.5 ± 0.5 μg/mL (mean ± SD) after administration of a single 350 mg dose of carisoprodol, which is approximately 30% of the Cmax of meprobamate (approximately 8 μg/mL) after administration of a single 400 mg dose of meprobamate.
Table 1: Pharmacokinetic Parameters of Carisoprodol and Meprobamate
(Mean ± SD, n=24)
|Cmax (μg/mL)||1.8 ± 1.0||2.5 ± 0.5|
|AUCinf (μg•hour/mL)||7.0 ± 5.0||46 ± 9.0|
|Tmax (hour)||1.7 ± 0.8||4.5 ± 1.9|
|T½ (hour)||2.0 ± 0.5||9.6 ± 1.5|
Absolute bioavailability of carisoprodol has not been determined. After administration of a single dose of 350 mg of carisoprodol, the mean time to peak plasma concentrations (Tmax) of carisoprodol was approximately 1.5 to 2 hours. Co-administration of a high-fat meal with 350 mg of carisoprodol had no effect on the pharmacokinetics of carisoprodol.
The major pathway of carisoprodol metabolism is via the liver by cytochrome enzyme CYP2C19 to form meprobamate. This enzyme exhibits genetic polymorphism (see Patients with Reduced CYP2C19 Activity below).
Carisoprodol is eliminated by both renal and non-renal routes with a terminal elimination half-life of approximately 2 hours after administration of a single dose of 350 mg of carisoprodol. The half-life of meprobamate is approximately 10 hours after administration of a single dose of 350 mg of carisoprodol.
Exposure of carisoprodol is higher in female than in male subjects (approximately 30 to 50% on a weight adjusted basis). Overall exposure of meprobamate is comparable between female and male subjects.
Patients with Reduced CYP2C19 Activity
Carisoprodol should be used with caution in patients with reduced CYP2C19 activity. Published studies indicate that patients who are poor CYP2C19 metabolizers have a 4-fold increase in exposure to carisoprodol, and 50% reduced exposure to meprobamate compared to normal CYP2C19 metabolizers. The prevalence of poor metabolizers in Caucasians and African Americans is approximately 3 to 5% and in Asians is approximately 15 to 20%.
The rate of aspirin absorption from the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is dependent upon the presence or absence of food, gastric pH (the presence or absence of GI antacids), and other physiologic factors. Following absorption, aspirin is hydrolyzed to salicylic acid in the gut wall and during first-pass metabolism with peak plasma levels of salicylic acid occurring within 1 to 2 hours of dosing.
Salicylic acid is widely distributed to all tissues and fluids in the body including the central nervous system (CNS), breast milk, and fetal tissues. The highest concentrations are found in the plasma, liver, kidneys, heart, and lungs. The protein binding of salicylate is concentration dependent, i.e., nonlinear. At plasma concentrations of salicylic acid < 100 μg/mL and > 400 μg/mL, approximately 90 and 76 percent of plasma salicylate is bound to albumin, respectively.
Aspirin, which has a half-life of about 15 minutes, is hydrolyzed in the plasma to salicylic acid such that plasma levels of aspirin may not be detectable 1 to 2 hours after dosing. Salicylic acid, which has a plasma half life of approximately 6 hours, is conjugated in the liver to form salicyluric acid, salicyl phenolic glucuronide, salicyl acyl glucuronide, gentisic acid, and gentisuric acid. At higher serum concentrations of salicylic acid, the total clearance of salicylic acid decreases due to the limited ability of the liver to form both salicyluric acid and phenolic glucuronide. Following toxic doses of aspirin (e.g., > 10 grams), the plasma half-life of salicylic acid may be increased to over 20 hours.
The elimination of salicylic acid is constant in relation to the plasma salicylic acid concentration. Following therapeutic doses of aspirin, approximately 75, 10, 10, and 5 percent is found excreted in the urine as salicyluric acid, salicylic acid, a phenolic glucuronide of salicylic acid, and an acyl glucuronide of salicylic acid, respectively. As the urinary pH rises above 6.5, the renal clearance of free salicylate increases from less than 5 percent to greater than 80 percent. Alkalinization of the urine is a key concept in the management of salicylate overdose (see OVERDOSAGE, Treatment of Overdosage). Clearance of salicylic acid is also reduced in patients with renal impairment.
Last reviewed on RxList: 12/9/2009
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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