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AAPS PharmSci. 2004 June; 6(2): 1–6.
Published online 2004 April 5. doi:  10.1208/ps060213
PMCID: PMC2751005

Permeability classification of representative fluoroquinolones by a cell culture method


This study was undertaken to categorize representative fluoroquinolone drug substance permeability based on the methods outlined in the Food and Drug Administration's biopharmaceutic classification system (BCS) Guidance for Industry. The permeability of ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, lomefloxacin, and ofloxacin was measured in an in vitro Caco-2 assay with previously demonstrated method suitability. The permeability class and efflux potential were ascertained by comparing test drug results with standard compounds (metoprolol, atenolol, labetalol, and rhodamine-123). All 4 quinolones drugs demonstrated concentration-dependent permeability, indicating active drug transport. In comparing absorptive versus secretive in vitro transport, the tested fluoroquinolones were found to be subject to efflux in varying degrees (ciprofloxacin > lomefloxacin > rhodamine 123 > levofloxacin > ofloxacin). Based on comparison to labetalol, the high permeability internal standard, ciprofloxacin was classified as a low permeability drug, whereas lomefloxacin, levofloxacin, and ofloxacin were classified as high permeability drugs. The in vitro permeability results matched human in vivo data based on absolute bioavailabilities. This laboratory exercise demonstrated the applicability of an in vitro permeability method for classifying drugs as outlined in the BCS Guidance.

KeyWords: permeability, Caco-2, biopharmaceutics classification system, fluoroquinolones


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