Ciclesonide is a novel inhaled corticosteroid developed for the treatment of asthma. To investigate the extent of oral absorption and bioavailability of ciclesonide referenced to an intravenous infusion. This information provides an estimate for the contribution of the swallowed fraction to systemic exposure to ciclesonide after oral inhalation. In a randomised crossover study, six healthy male subjects (age range 19-40 years) received single doses of 6.9 mg (oral administration) and 0.64 mg (intravenous administration) of [14C]ciclesonide, separated by a washout period of at least 14 days. Total radioactivity was determined in whole blood, plasma, urine and faeces. Serum concentrations of ciclesonide and its major metabolite, the pharmacologically active desisobutyryl-ciclesonide (des-CIC), were determined in serum by high-performance liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry detection. After a 10-minute intravenous infusion, the mean half-life for total radioactivity was 45.2 hours. Elimination of des-CIC was fast with a mean elimination half-life of 3.5 hours. After oral administration, the mean half-life for total radioactivity was 27.5 hours. On the basis of a comparison of dose-normalised areas under the curve of total plasma radioactivity versus time, 24.5% of orally administered [14C]ciclesonide was absorbed. The parent compound ciclesonide was not detected in any of the serum samples after oral administration; serum concentrations of des-CIC were mostly near or below the lower limit of quantification. Thus, systemic bioavailability for des-CIC is <1% and the absolute bioavailability of ciclesonide is even less than this. [14C]Ciclesonide showed no retention in red blood cells. The mean cumulative excretion of total radioactivity was almost complete by 120 hours after oral and intravenous administration. Faecal excretion was the predominant route of excretion for total radioactivity after both routes of administration. Single oral and intravenous administration of ciclesonide was well tolerated. Because of an almost complete first-pass metabolism, ciclesonide is undetectable in serum after oral administration. Thus, any ciclesonide swallowed after oral inhalation does not contribute to systemically available ciclesonide or to its active metabolite. Drug-related metabolites are excreted mainly via the faeces, and overall recovery of administered radioactivity is virtually complete after an extended sample collection period.
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