Physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (Pbpk) modeling providing insights into fentanyl pharmacokinetics in adults and pediatric patients
Fentanyl is widely used for analgesia, sedation, and anesthesia both in adult and pediatric populations. Yet, only few pharmacokinetic studies of fentanyl in pediatrics exist as conducting clinical trials in this population is especially challenging. Physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modeling is a mechanistic approach to explore drug pharmacokinetics and allows extrapolation from adult to pediatric populations based on age-related physiological differences. The aim of this study was to develop a PBPK model of fentanyl and norfentanyl for both adult and pediatric populations. The adult PBPK model was established in PK-Sim® using data from 16 clinical studies and was scaled to several pediatric subpopulations. ~93% of the predicted AUClast values in adults and ~88% in pediatrics were within 2-fold of the corresponding value observed. The adult PBPK model predicted a fraction of fentanyl dose metabolized to norfentanyl of ~33% and a fraction excreted in urine of ~7%. In addition, the pediatric PBPK model was used to simulate differences in peak plasma concentrations after bolus injections and short infusions. The novel PBPK models could be helpful to further investigate fentanyl pharmacokinetics in both adult and pediatric populations.
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