We believe that the mix of biochemical/metabolic disturbances, genetic variation and structural changes combined with methadone-induced/associated QTc interval prolongation best
explain TdP. Methadone Methadone is a synthetic opiate most commonly employed in addiction treatment (or opiate dependence) and pain management. In 2006, Drug and Alcohol Services Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical Information System reported that in 2005, 235,836 persons received methadone either for opiate detoxification or maintenance [Drug and Alcohol Services Information System, 2006 http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/2k6/otp/otp.htm]. Methadone’s primary mechanism of action is as a mu-receptor agonist that may work as an antagonist at the NMDA receptor [Anderson et al. 2000; Roxane Laboratories, 2003]. Methadone is lipophilic and has unpredictable pharmacokinetics
with large patient variability in absorption, bioavailability, peak selleck inhibitor concentration and half-life. Its bioavailability can range from 36 to 100% and its half-life from 8 to 59 hours. Its Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical duration of action may be prolonged due to its lipophilicity and ability to remain in the liver and other tissues [Roxane Laboratories, 2003]. hERG liability of methadone A striking feature of drug-induced QTc interval prolongation and TdP is that virtually all clinically used drugs linked with these effects Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical share in common an ability to inhibit channels that mediate the cardiac rapid delayed rectifier current, IKr—an ionic current that is important in regulating ventricular action potential duration [Witchel et al. 2000; Hancox et al. 2008]. Human Ether-à-go-go-Related Gene (hERG) encodes a protein (hERG) that mediates IKr [Sanguinetti et Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical al. 1995; Trudeau et al. 1995]. Due to identified structural features, hERG exhibits a high susceptibility to pharmacological blockade [Sanguinetti et al. 2005; Hancox et al. 2008]. Similar to QTc prolongation, IKr/hERG blockade is a surrogate Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical marker of TdP rather
than a direct indicator of arrhythmogenicity; it is likely that it is the downstream consequences of IKr block, such as cellular early-after-depolarisations and augmented transmural dispersion of repolarisation that contribute to the genesis of TdP [Hancox et al. 2008]. Consequently, in preclinical drug safety testing any identified hERG-blocking Ketanserin tendency of an investigational drug (typically assessed through the study of hERG channels expressed in mammalian cell lines) must be considered alongside other preclinical information [Gintant, 2008; Hancox et al. 2008]. Analysis of the association between hERG/IKr block and observed propensity of clinically used drugs to produce TdP has led to the recommendation of a provisional ‘safety margin’ for drugs undergoing evaluation based on the ratio of hERG/IKr half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) and effective therapeutic plasma concentration (ETPC, unbound) [Redfern et al. 2003].