Abacavir is an antiretroviral agent [see Microbiology (12.4)].
Pharmacokinetics in Adults
The pharmacokinetic properties of abacavir were independent of dose over the range of 300 to 1,200 mg per day.
Absorption: Following oral administration, abacavir is rapidly absorbed and extensively distributed. The geometric mean absolute bioavailability of the tablet was 83%. Plasma abacavir AUC was similar following administration of the oral solution or tablets. After oral administration of 300 mg twice daily in 20 subjects, the steady-state peak serum abacavir concentration (Cmax ) was 3 ± 0.89 mcg per mL (mean ± SD) and AUC(0-12 h) was 6.02 ± 1.73 mcg•hour per mL. After oral administration of a single dose of 600 mg of abacavir in 20 subjects, Cmax was 4.26 ± 1.19 mcg per mL (mean ± SD) and AUC∞ was 11.95 ± 2.51 mcg•hour per mL.
Effect of Food: Bioavailability of abacavir tablets was assessed in the fasting and fed states with no significant difference in systemic exposure (AUC∞ ); therefore, abacavir tablets may be administered with or without food. Systemic exposure to abacavir was comparable after administration of abacavir oral solution and abacavir tablets. Therefore, these products may be used interchangeably.
Distribution: The apparent volume of distribution after IV administration of abacavir was 0.86 ± 0.15 L per kg, suggesting that abacavir distributes into extravascular space. In 3 subjects, the CSF AUC(0-6 h) to plasma abacavir AUC(0-6 h) ratio ranged from 27% to 33%.
Binding of abacavir to human plasma proteins is approximately 50% and was independent of concentration. Total blood and plasma drug-related radioactivity concentrations are identical, demonstrating that abacavir readily distributes into erythrocytes.
Elimination: In single-dose trials, the observed elimination half-life (t1/2 ) was 1.54 ± 0.63 hours. After intravenous administration, total clearance was 0.8 ± 0.24 L per hour per kg (mean ± SD).
Metabolism: In humans, abacavir is not significantly metabolized by cytochrome P450 enzymes. The primary routes of elimination of abacavir are metabolism by alcohol dehydrogenase to form the 5′-carboxylic acid and glucuronyl transferase to form the 5′-glucuronide. The metabolites do not have antiviral activity. In vitro experiments reveal that abacavir does not inhibit human CYP3A4, CYP2D6, or CYP2C9 activity at clinically relevant concentrations.
Excretion: Elimination of abacavir was quantified in a mass balance trial following administration of a 600 mg dose of 14 C-abacavir: 99% of the radioactivity was recovered, 1.2% was excreted in the urine as abacavir, 30% as the 5′-carboxylic acid metabolite, 36% as the 5′-glucuronide metabolite, and 15% as unidentified minor metabolites in the urine. Fecal elimination accounted for 16% of the dose.
Patients with Renal Impairment: The pharmacokinetic properties of abacavir have not been determined in patients with impaired renal function. Renal excretion of unchanged abacavir is a minor route of elimination in humans.
Patients with Hepatic Impairment: The pharmacokinetics of abacavir have been studied in subjects with mild hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh Class A). Results showed that there was a mean increase of 89% in the abacavir AUC and an increase of 58% in the half-life of abacavir after a single dose of 600 mg of abacavir. The AUCs of the metabolites were not modified by mild liver disease; however, the rates of formation and elimination of the metabolites were decreased [see Contraindications (4), Use in Specific Populations (8.6)].
Pregnant Women: Abacavir: Abacavir pharmacokinetics were studied in 25 pregnant women during the last trimester of pregnancy receiving abacavir 300 mg twice daily. Abacavir exposure (AUC) during pregnancy was similar to those in postpartum and in HIV-infected non-pregnant historical controls. Consistent with passive diffusion of abacavir across the placenta, abacavir concentrations in neonatal plasma cord samples at birth were essentially equal to those in maternal plasma at delivery.
Pediatric Patients: The pharmacokinetics of abacavir have been studied after either single or repeat doses of abacavir in 169 pediatric subjects. Subjects receiving abacavir oral solution according to the recommended dosage regimen achieved plasma concentrations of abacavir similar to adults. Subjects receiving abacavir oral tablets achieved higher plasma concentrations of abacavir than subjects receiving oral solution.
The pharmacokinetics of abacavir dosed once daily in HIV-1-infected pediatric subjects aged 3 months through 12 years was evaluated in 3 trials (PENTA 13 [n = 14], PENTA 15 [n = 18], and ARROW [n = 36]). All 3 trials were 2-period, crossover, open-label pharmacokinetic trials of twice- versus once-daily dosing of abacavir and lamivudine. For the oral solution as well as the tablet formulation, these 3 trials demonstrated that once-daily dosing provides comparable AUC0-24 to twice-daily dosing of abacavir at the same total daily dose. The mean Cmax was approximately 1.6- to 2.3-fold higher with abacavir once-daily dosing compared with twice-daily dosing.
Geriatric Patients: The pharmacokinetics of abacavir have not been studied in subjects older than 65 years.
Male and Female Patients: A population pharmacokinetic analysis in HIV-1-infected male (n = 304) and female (n = 67) subjects showed no gender differences in abacavir AUC normalized for lean body weight.
Racial Groups: There are no significant or clinically relevant racial differences between blacks and whites in abacavir pharmacokinetics.
Drug Interaction Studies
Effect of Abacavir on the Pharmacokinetics of Other Agents: In human liver microsomes, abacavir did not inhibit cytochrome P450 isoforms (2C9, 2D6, 3A4). Based on these data, it is unlikely that clinically significant drug interactions will occur between abacavir and drugs metabolized through these pathways.
Based on in vitro study results, abacavir at therapeutic drug exposures is not expected to affect the pharmacokinetics of drugs that are substrates of the following transporters: organic anion transporter polypeptide (OATP)1B1/3, breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP) or P-glycoprotein (P-gp), organic cation transporter (OCT)1, OCT2, or multidrug and toxic extrusion protein (MATE)1 and MATE2-K.
Effect of Other Agents on the Pharmacokinetics of Abacavir: In vitro , abacavir is not a substrate of OATP1B1, OAP1B3, OCT1, OCT2, OAT1, MATE1, MATE2-K, multidrug resistance-associated protein (MRP)2 or MRP4; therefore, drugs that modulate these transporters are not expected to affect abacavir plasma concentrations. Abacavir is a substrate of BCRP and P-gp in vitro; however, considering its absolute bioavailability (83%), modulators of these transporters are unlikely to result in a clinically relevant impact on abacavir concentrations.
Lamivudine and/or Zidovudine: Fifteen HIV-1-infected subjects were enrolled in a crossover-designed drug interaction trial evaluating single doses of abacavir (600 mg), lamivudine (150 mg), and zidovudine (300 mg) alone or in combination. Analysis showed no clinically relevant changes in the pharmacokinetics of abacavir with the addition of lamivudine or zidovudine or the combination of lamivudine and zidovudine. Lamivudine exposure (AUC decreased 15%) and zidovudine exposure (AUC increased 10%) did not show clinically relevant changes with concurrent abacavir.
Ethanol: Abacavir has no effect on the pharmacokinetic properties of ethanol. Ethanol decreases the elimination of abacavir causing an increase in overall exposure. Due to the common metabolic pathways of abacavir and ethanol via alcohol dehydrogenase, the pharmacokinetic interaction between abacavir and ethanol was studied in 24 HIV-1-infected male subjects. Each subject received the following treatments on separate occasions: a single 600 mg dose of abacavir, 0.7 g per kg ethanol (equivalent to 5 alcoholic drinks), and abacavir 600 mg plus 0.7 g per kg ethanol. Coadministration of ethanol and abacavir resulted in a 41% increase in abacavir AUC∞ and a 26% increase in abacavir t1/2 . Abacavir had no effect on the pharmacokinetic properties of ethanol, so no clinically significant interaction is expected in men. This interaction has not been studied in females.
Methadone: In a trial of 11 HIV-1-infected subjects receiving methadone-maintenance therapy (40 mg and 90 mg daily), with 600 mg of abacavir twice daily (twice the currently recommended dose), oral methadone clearance increased 22% (90% CI: 6% to 42%). This alteration will not result in a methadone dose modification in the majority of patients; however, an increased methadone dose may be required in a small number of patients [see Drug Interactions (7)]. The addition of methadone had no clinically significant effect on the pharmacokinetic properties of abacavir.
Abacavir is a carbocyclic synthetic nucleoside analogue. Abacavir is converted by cellular enzymes to the active metabolite, carbovir triphosphate (CBV-TP), an analogue of deoxyguanosine-5′-triphosphate (dGTP). CBV-TP inhibits the activity of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (RT) both by competing with the natural substrate dGTP and by its incorporation into viral DNA.
The antiviral activity of abacavir against HIV-1 was assessed in a number of cell lines including primary monocytes/macrophages and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). EC50 values ranged from 3.7 to 5.8 microM (1 microM = 0.28 mcg per mL) and 0.07 to 1 microM against HIV-1IIIB and HIV-1BaL , respectively, and the mean EC50 value was 0.26 ± 0.18 microM against 8 clinical isolates. The median EC50 values of abacavir were 344 nM (range: 14.8 to 676 nM), 16.9 nM (range: 5.9 to 27.9 nM), 8.1 nM (range: 1.5 to 16.7 nM), 356 nM (range: 35.7 to 396 nM), 105 nM (range: 28.1 to 168 nM), 47.6 nM (range: 5.2 to 200 nM), 51.4 nM (range: 7.1 to 177 nM), and 282 nM (range: 22.4 to 598 nM) against HIV-1 clades A-G and group O viruses (n = 3 except n = 2 for clade B), respectively. The EC50 values against HIV-2 isolates (n = 4), ranged from 0.024 to 0.49 microM. The antiviral activity of abacavir in cell culture was not antagonized when combined with the nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) didanosine, emtricitabine, lamivudine, stavudine, tenofovir, zalcitabine or zidovudine, the non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) nevirapine, or the protease inhibitor (PI) amprenavir. Ribavirin (50 microM) used in the treatment of chronic HCV infection had no effect
on the anti-HIV-1 activity of abacavir in cell culture.
HIV-1 isolates with reduced susceptibility to abacavir have been selected in cell culture. Genotypic analysis of isolates selected in cell culture and recovered from abacavir-treated subjects demonstrated that amino acid substitutions K65R, L74V, Y115F, and M184V/I emerged in HIV-1 RT. M184V or I substitutions resulted in an approximately 2-fold decrease in susceptibility to abacavir. Substitutions K65R, L74M, or Y115F with M184V or I conferred a 7- to 8-fold reduction in abacavir susceptibility, and combinations of three substitutions were required to confer more than an 8-fold reduction in susceptibility.
Thirty-nine percent (7 of 18) of the isolates from subjects who experienced virologic failure in the abacavir once-daily arm had a greater than 2.5-fold mean decrease in abacavir susceptibility with a median-fold decrease of 1.3 (range: 0.5 to 11) compared with 29% (5 of 17) of the failure isolates in the twice-daily arm with a median-fold decrease of 0.92 (range: 0.7 to 13).
Cross-resistance has been observed among NRTIs. Isolates containing abacavir resistance-associated substitutions, namely, K65R, L74V, Y115F, and M184V, exhibited cross-resistance to didanosine, emtricitabine, lamivudine, and tenofovir in cell culture and in subjects. An increasing number of thymidine analogue mutation substitutions (TAMs: M41L, D67N, K70R, L210W, T215Y/F, K219E/R/H/Q/N) is associated with a progressive reduction in abacavir susceptibility.
Abacavir was administered orally at 3 dosage levels to separate groups of mice and rats in 2-year carcinogenicity studies. Results showed an increase in the incidence of malignant and non-malignant tumors. Malignant tumors occurred in the preputial gland of males and the clitoral gland of females of both species, and in the liver of female rats. In addition, non-malignant tumors also occurred in the liver and thyroid gland of female rats. These observations were made at systemic exposures in the range of 6 to 32 times the human exposure at the recommended dose of 600 mg.
Abacavir induced chromosomal aberrations both in the presence and absence of metabolic activation in an in vitro cytogenetic study in human lymphocytes. Abacavir was mutagenic in the absence of metabolic activation, although it was not mutagenic in the presence of metabolic activation in an L5178Y mouse lymphoma assay. Abacavir was clastogenic in males and not clastogenic in females in an in vivo mouse bone marrow micronucleus assay.
Abacavir was not mutagenic in bacterial mutagenicity assays in the presence and absence of metabolic activation.
Impairment of Fertility
Abacavir did not affect male or female fertility in rats at a dose associated with exposures (AUC) approximately 3.3 times (male) or 4.1 times (female) those in humans at the clinically recommended dose.
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