Objective: To analyze a potential phenotypic variation within the studied group based on the pharmacokinetic profile of atomoxetine and its active metabolite, and to further investigate the impact of CYP2D6 phenotype on atomoxetine pharmacokinetics. Methods: The study was conducted as an open-label, non-randomized clinical trial which included 43 Caucasian healthy volunteers. Each subject received a single oral dose of atomoxetine 25 mg. Subsequently, atomoxetine and 4-hydroxyatomoxetine-O-glucuronide (glucuronidated active metabolite) plasma concentrations were determined and a noncompartmental method was used to calculate the pharmacokinetic parameters of both compounds. Further on, the CYP2D6 metabolic phenotype was assessed using the area under the curve (AUC) metabolic ratio (atomoxetine/ 4-hydroxyatomoxetine-O-glucuronide) and specific statistical tests (Lilliefors (Kolgomorov-Smirnov) and Anderson-Darling test). The phenotypic differences in atomoxetine disposition were identified based on the pharmacokinetic profile of the parent drug and its metabolite. Results: The statistical analysis revealed that the AUC metabolic ratio data set did not follow a normal distribution. As a result, two different phenotypes were identified, respectively the poor metabolizer (PM) group which included 3 individuals and the extensive metabolizer (EM) group which comprised the remaining 40 subjects. Also, it was demonstrated that the metabolic phenotype significantly influenced atomoxetine pharmacokinetics, as PMs presented a 4.5-fold higher exposure to the parent drug and a 3.2-fold lower exposure to its metabolite in comparison to EMs. Conclusions: The pharmacokinetic and statistical analysis emphasized the existence of 2 metabolic phenotypes: EMs and PMs. Furthermore, it was proved that the interphenotype variability had a marked influence on atomoxetine pharmacokinetic profile.
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