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Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2001 Oct;52(4):409-17.

Effect of OROS controlled-release delivery on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of oxybutynin chloride.

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Clinical Pharmacology, ALZA Corporation, 1950 Charleston Road, Mountain View, CA 94043, USA.


Aims : Dry mouth is a common side-effect seen with immediate-release oxybutynin (IR-Oxy). Ditropan XL [(Oxy-XL), a controlled-release formulation of oxybutynin chloride, is a once-daily oral dosage form that incorporates the OROS technology. Dry mouth as the pharmacodynamic measure was compared between Oxy-XL and IR-Oxy administration. The steady state stereospecific pharmacokinetics were also established for the two formulations and the kinetic-dynamic relationship of oxybutynin was examined.


This was a randomized, repeated-dose, double-blind, two-treatment, two-period, crossover study. After a baseline assessment day, volunteers were randomly assigned to one of two treatment sequences and received 4 days of each treatment with a washout period of 7 days between treatments. The treatments were: 1) Oxy-XL 10 mg in the morning and placebo 8 h later, and 2) IR-Oxy 5 mg in the morning and again 8 h later. Volunteers assessed dry mouth severity subjectively using a 100 mm visual analogue scale, VAS (Baseline, treatment days 1 and 4) and objectively by collecting saliva (Baseline and treatment day 4) before dosing and every hour after the morning dose for approximately 16 h. Several blood samples were collected during each treatment, with frequent sampling on day 4 to analyse for plasma R- and S-oxybutynin and R- and S-desethyloxybutynin concentrations.


Relatively constant plasma concentrations of oxybutynin and its metabolite were seen over 24 h following Oxy-XL administration with the degree of fluctuation being much lower (P = 0.001; 66% to 81% reduction for the various analytes) than IR-Oxy. Compared with IR-Oxy, Oxy-XL yielded higher (131% and 158% for the R- and S-isomer, respectively) oxybutynin and lower (62% and 78% for the R- and S-isomer, respectively) desethyloxybutynin bioavailability, suggesting reduced first-pass metabolism. Saliva output (area under the effect curve) was significantly higher [P = 0.001; 37% (95% confidence interval: 24, 51%)] with Oxy-XL than with IR-Oxy and, accordingly, dry mouth severity (VAS) integrated over the day was significantly lower with Oxy-XL. The decrease in saliva output and the consequent increase in dry mouth severity correlated with the metabolite R-desethyloxybutynin concentration, and no apparent relationship was observed with the R-oxybutynin concentration. This suggests that the metabolite may contribute to the dry mouth. Therefore, the reduction in metabolite exposure with Oxy-XL may be a possible explanation for the observed decrease in dry mouth severity with OXY-XL compared with IR-Oxy.


Oxy-XL maintains relatively constant plasma drug and metabolite concentrations and minimizes first-pass metabolism of oxybutynin. The metabolite appears to contribute to dry mouth associated with oxybutynin, and following Oxy-XL metabolite exposure is reduced compared with IR-Oxy. Consequently less dry mouth was observed with Oxy-XL as compared with IR-Oxy.

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