OBJECTIVES: To develop a physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model for furosemide immediate release (IR) tablets and modified release (MR) capsules by coupling biorelevant dissolution testing results with pharmacokinetic (PK) and physiologic parameters, and to investigate the key factors influencing furosemide absorption using simulation approaches and the PBPK model. METHODS: Using solubility, dissolution kinetics, gastrointestinal (GI) parameters and disposition parameters, a PBPK model for furosemide was developed with STELLA software. Solubility and dissolution profiles for both formulations were evaluated in biorelevant and compendial media. The simulated plasma profiles were compared with in-vivo profiles using point estimates of area under plasma concentration-time curve, maximal concentration after the dose and time to maximal concentration after the dose. KEY FINDINGS: Simulated plasma profiles of both furosemide IR tablets and MR capsules were similar to the observed in-vivo profile in terms of PK parameters. Sensitivity analysis of the IR tablet model indicated that both the gastric emptying and absorption rate have an influence on the plasma profile. For the MR capsules, the sensitivity analysis suggested that the release rate in the small intestine, gastric emptying and the absorption rate all have an influence on the plasma profile. CONCLUSIONS: A predictive model to describe both IR and MR dosage forms containing furosemide was attained. Because sensitivity analysis of the model is able to identify key factors influencing the plasma profile, this in-vitro-in-silico-in-vivo approach could be a useful tool for facilitating formulation development of drug products.
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