Background: Alkaptonuria (AKU) is a serious genetic disease due to a defect in tyrosine metabolism, leading to increased serum levels of homogentisic acid (HGA). Nitisinone decreases HGA in AKU, but the concentration–response relationship has not been previously reported.
Objectives: To determine the relationship between serum concentrations of nitisinone and the effect on both HGA and tyrosine; secondly to determine steady-state pharmacokinetics of nitisinone in AKU patients.
Method: Thirty-two patients with AKU received either 1, 2, 4, or 8 mg nitisinone daily. Urine and serum HGA and serum tyrosine and nitisinone were measured during 24 h at baseline (before first dose) and after 4 weeks of treatment.
Results: Nitisinone pharmacokinetics (area under the curve [AUC] and maximum concentrations [Cmax]) were dose proportional. The median oral clearance determined in all patients, irrespective of dose, was 3.18 mL/h·kg (range 1.6–6.7).
Nitisinone decreased urinary excretion of HGA in a concentration-dependent manner, with a maximum effect seen at average nitisinone concentrations of 3 μmol/L. The association between nitisinone and tyrosine concentrations was less pronounced. Serum levels of HGA at Week 4 were below the limit of quantitation in 65% of samples, which prevented determination of the relationship with nitisinone concentrations.
Conclusion: Nitisinone exhibits dose-proportional pharmacokinetics in the studied dosage interval. Urinary excretion of HGA decreases in a concentration-dependent manner, while the increase in tyrosine is less clearly related to nitisinone concentrations.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this chapter (doi:10.1007/8904_2015_412) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.