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Clin Pharmacokinet. 2005;44(5):441-66.

Pharmacokinetics of proton pump inhibitors in children.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Montreal, Montreal, Canada.


The use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) has become widespread in children and infants for the management of paediatric acid-related disease. Pharmacokinetic profiles of only omeprazole and lansoprazole have been well characterised in children over 2 years of age with acid-related diseases. Few data have been recently published regarding the pharmacokinetics of pantoprazole in children, and none are available for rabeprazole or esomeprazole. The metabolism of PPI enantiomers has never been studied in the paediatric population. A one-compartment model best describes the pharmacokinetic behaviour of omeprazole, lansoprazole and pantoprazole in children, with important interindividual variability for each pharmacokinetic parameter. Like adults, PPIs are rapidly absorbed in children following oral administration; the mean time to reach maximum plasma concentration varies from 1 to 3 hours. Since these agents are acid labile, their oral formulations consist of capsules containing enteric-coated granules. No liquid formulation is available for any of the PPIs. Thus, for those patients unable to swallow capsules, extemporaneous liquid preparations for omeprazole and lansoprazole have been reported; however, neither the absolute nor the relative bioavailabilities of these oral formulations have been studied in children. Intravenous formulations are available for omeprazole (in Europe), lansoprazole and pantoprazole. PPIs are rapidly metabolised in children, with short elimination half-lives of around 1 hour, similar to that reported for adults. All PPIs are extensively metabolised by the liver, primarily by cytochrome P450 (CYP) isoforms CYP2C19 and CYP3A4, to inactive metabolites, with little unchanged drug excreted in the urine. Similar to that seen in adults, the absolute bioavailability of omeprazole increases with repeated dosing in children; this phenomenon is thought to be due to a combination of decreased first-pass elimination and reduced systemic clearance. The apparent clearance (CL/F) of omeprazole, lansoprazole and pantoprazole appears to be faster for children than for adults. A higher metabolic capacity in children as well as differences in the extent of PPI bioavailability are most likely responsible for this finding. This may partly account for the need in children for variable and sometimes considerably greater doses of PPIs, on a per kilogram basis, than for adults to achieve similar plasma concentrations. Furthermore, no studies have been able to demonstrate a statistically significant correlation between age and pharmacokinetic parameters among children. Despite the small number of very young infants studied, there is some evidence for reduced PPI metabolism in newborns. The limited paediatric data regarding the impact of CYP2C19 genetic polymorphism on PPI metabolism are similar to those reported for adults, with poor metabolisers having 6- to 10-fold higher area under the concentration-time curve values compared with extensive metabolisers. Finally, because a pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic relationship exists for PPIs, the significant interindividual variability in their disposition may partly explain the wide range of therapeutic doses used in children. Further studies are needed to better define the pharmacokinetics of PPIs in children <2 years of age.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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