Background: The broad-spectrum antiparasitic drug nitazoxanide (N) has been repositioned as a broad-spectrum antiviral drug. Nitazoxanide’s in vivo antiviral activities are mainly attributed to its metabolite−tizoxanide, the deacetylation product of nitazoxanide. In reference to the pharmacokinetic profile of nitazoxanide, we proposed the hypotheses that the low plasma concentrations and the low system exposure of tizoxanide after dosing with nitazoxanide result from significant first-pass effects in the liver. It was thought that this might be due to the unstable acyloxy bond of nitazoxanide.
Objective: Tizoxanide prodrugs, with the more stable formamyl substituent attached to the hydroxyl group rather than the acetyl group of nitazoxanide, were designed with the thought that they might be more stable in plasma. It was anticipated that these prodrugs might be less affected by the first pass effect, which would improve plasma concentrations and system exposure of tizoxanide.
Method: These O-carbamoyl tizoxanide prodrugs were synthesized and evaluated in a mouse model for pharmacokinetic (PK) properties and in an in vitro model for plasma stabilities.
Results: The results indicated that the plasma concentration and the systemic exposure of tizoxanide (T) after oral administration of O-carbamoyl tizoxanide prodrugs were much greater than that produced by the equimolar dosage of nitazoxanide. It was also found that the plasma concentration and the systemic exposure of tizoxanide glucuronide (TG) were much lower than that produced by nitazoxanide.
Conclusion: Further analysis showed that the suitable plasma stability of O-carbamoyl tizoxanide prodrugs is the key factor in maximizing the plasma concentration and the systemic exposure of the active ingredient tizoxanide.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.2165/00003495-200767130-00015] [PMID: 17722965]
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jac/49.1.103] [PMID: 11751773]
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jm200153p] [PMID: 21553812]