The objective of this study was to compare the single- and multiple-dose pharmacokinetics and electrocardiographic effect of a 10-mg oral dose of ebastine in elderly (ages, 65–85 years) and young (ages, 18–35 years) healthy volunteers. Thirty-seven subjects completed this randomized, double-blind, multiple-dose, placebo-controlled, parallel group study. The elderly group consisted of 18 subjects, with 13 subjects receiving 10 mg ebastine and 5 receiving matching placebo. The young group consisted of 19 subjects, with 13 subjects receiving 10 mg ebastine and 6 receiving matching placebo. On study days 1 and 3 through 10, each subject received a single 10-mg dose of ebastine or matching placebo in the morning with a standard breakfast. No drug was administered on study day 2 because of pharmacokinetic sampling. Blood samples were collected at selected times post-dose on study days 1, 2, and 10. Plasma samples were analyzed for ebastine and its active metabolite, carebastine, using a validated high-performance liquid chromatography method. No plasma ebastine concentrations were detected, suggesting essentially complete metabolic conversion of ebastine to its metabolites. Analysis of variance showed no statistically significant differences between young and elderly single- and multiple-dose carebastine pharmacokinetics with respect to area under the plasma concentration-time curve, maximum concentration (Cmax), terminal elimination rate constant, apparent oral clearance, or apparent volume of distribution. The mean time of maximum concentration value for young subjects was 1 hour longer than that for elderly subjects after single-dose administration but was comparable after multiple-dose administration. Within-group comparisons of both the young and elderly showed that pharmacokinetics between single dose and steady state were not statistically different. However, the mean steady-state carebastine Cmax values were approximately twofold greater than the mean Cmax values obtained after single-dose administration. A twofold increase in Cmax values between single-dose and steady-state administration is predicted for drugs such as carebastine, because its input interval is approximately equal to its elimination half-life. Twelve-lead electrocardiography was performed before dosing on day 1 and repeated 4 hours postdose on days 1, 5, and 10. Twenty-four hour Holter monitoring was also performed before and at the end of the study. No clinically relevant findings were found by electrocardiography or Holter monitoring between ebastine and placebo in the elderly and young subjects.
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