Cinnarizine

Pharmacodynamic properties

Cinnarizine has been shown to be a non-competitive antagonist of the smooth muscle contractions caused by various vasoactive agents including histamine.

Cinnarizine also acts on vascular smooth muscle by selectively inhibiting the calcium influx into depolarised cells, thereby reducing the availability of free Ca2+ ions for the induction and maintenance of contraction.

Vestibular eye reflexes induced by caloric stimulation of the labyrinth in guinea pigs are markedly depressed by cinnarizine.

Cinnarizine has been shown to inhibit nystagmus.

Pharmacokinetic properties

In animals, cinnarizine is extensively metabolised, N-dealkylation being the major pathway. Approximately two thirds of the metabolites are excreted with the faeces, the rest in the urine, mainly during the first five days after a single dose.

Absorption

In man, after oral administration, absorption is relatively slow, peak serum concentrations occurring after 2.5 to 4 hours.

Distribution

The plasma protein binding of cinnarizine is 91%.

Metabolism

Cinnarizine is extensively metabolised mainly via CYP2D6, but there is considerable interindividual variation in the extent of metabolism.

Elimination

The reported elimination half-life for cinnarizine ranges from 4 to 24 hours.

The elimination of metabolites occurs as follows: one third in the urine (unchanged as metabolites and glucuronide conjugates) and two thirds in the faeces.

Preclinical safety data

Nonclinical safety studies showed that effects were observed only after chronic exposures from approximately 7 to 35 times the recommended maximum daily human dose of 90 mg/day calculated on a body surface area basis. Cinnarizine blocked the cardiac hERG channel in vitro, however in isolated cardiac tissue and following intravenous application in guinea-pigs, no QTc prolongation or proarrhythmic effects were observed at substantially higher exposures than those expected clinically.

In reproductive studies in the rat, rabbit, and dog, there was no evidence of adverse effects on fertility and no teratogenicity. At high doses associated with maternal toxicity in the rat there was a decreased litter size, an increase in resorptions and a decrease in fetal birth weight.

In vitro mutagenicity studies indicated that the parent compound is not mutagenic however, after reacting with nitrite and forming the nitrosation product, a weak mutagenic activity was observed. Carcinogenicity studies have not been conducted however, no pre-neoplastic changes were evident during chronic 18-month oral administration in rats up to approximately 35 times the maximum human dose level.

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