Drug acetylation in liver disease.
Levy M. Caraco Y. Geisslinger G.
Clinical Pharmacology Unit, Hadassah University Hospital, Jerusalem, Israel.
N-Acetylation is a phase II conjugation reaction mediated in humans by the polymorphic N-acetyltransferase 2 (NAT2) and N-acetyltransferase 1 (NAT1). Acetylation of some drugs may be modestly decreased in patients with chronic liver disease, whereas acute liver injury has no effect on drug acetylation. For NAT2 substrates, the impairment in acetylation capacity seems to be phenotype-specific, with a more prominent effect being exerted in rapid than slow acetylators. Thus, in the presence of significant hepatic dysfunction, the activity of NAT2 may not exhibit its usual bimodal distribution, and hence phenotypic assignment may not be reliable. Furthermore, it remains to be evaluated whether the precautions advised for slow acetylators when treated with drugs metabolised by NAT2 apply to all patients (regardless of phenotype) with liver cirrhosis.
Topiramate. Clinical profile in epilepsy.
Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, New Brunswick, USA.
Topiramate, a sulfamate-substituted monosaccharide, is a new antiepileptic drug (AED) approved as adjunctive therapy for partial-onset seizures in adults. Topiramate is rapidly absorbed, has linear pharmacokinetics, minimal protein binding and a long half-life facilitating a twice-daily dosage regimen. Topiramate has little effect on the plasma concentrations of other AEDs with the exception of phenytoin, concentrations of which may increase in some patients when topiramate is added to the therapy. Topiramate metabolism is increased when administered with carbamazepine or phenytoin. In the absence of enzyme-inducing AEDs, topiramate is eliminated primarily by renal excretion, with 50 to 80% of a dose excreted as unchanged topiramate. In 6 double-blind, placebo-controlled trials, topiramate was shown to be well tolerated and effective as adjunctive therapy for partial-onset seizures in adults. Topiramate consistently reduced seizures across all patient groups defined by age, gender and baseline seizure frequency. Adverse effects were generally mild-to-moderate CNS-related effects and often resolved spontaneously or with slowing of topiramate titration and/or reduction of the dosage of concomitant AEDs. Clinical studies are currently evaluating the effectiveness and safety of topiramate as monotherapy and adjunctive therapy in children with partial seizures, in patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and in patients with generalised tonic-clonic seizures of non-focal onset. Preliminary findings suggest that topiramate has a broad spectrum of clinical use.