This prospective, open-label trial was conducted to fulfil a post-approval commitment made to the competent authorities to extend the indication of the strong opioid analgesic tapentadol hydrochloride oral solution (OS) to the pediatric population.
Patients and methods:
The trial assessed the pharmacokinetic (PK) profile of tapentadol, tapentadol-O-glucuronide and tapentadol-O-sulfate after administration of multiple doses of tapentadol OS (1.25 mg tapentadol/kg bodyweight every 4 h for up to 72 h) in children aged 2 to <7 years after a painful event that produces acute pain requiring treatment with a strong analgesic. The obtained PK data were integrated into a previously developed population PK (popPK) model based on single-dose data and then a model-based PK evaluation was performed. The primary trial endpoint was the area under the concentration-time curve at steady state for the dosing interval (AUCτ,ss) for tapentadol.
Ten children received tapentadol OS; all completed the trial. Multiple administrations of the trial medication resulted in tapentadol serum concentrations within the concentration range predicted by the previously developed popPK model. The estimated model-based AUCτ,ss values for tapentadol ranged from 142 to 321 h•ng/mL. They were within the predicted exposure range with no higher than expected accumulation for the employed dosing regimen and also within the targeted steady state exposure range observed in adults receiving multiple doses of immediate release tapentadol 50 to 100 mg. The treatment regimen was safe and well tolerated.
The findings confirm the linear and predictable PK profile of tapentadol hydrochloride. The good agreement between the observed data and the model predictions shows the value of modelling and simulations in the planning and analysis of pediatric clinical trials and the ability to utilize the established PK models to predict multiple dose exposure.
acute pain; children; multiple dosing; pharmacokinetics; popPK model; tapentadol.