Cariprazine, a dopamine D-preferring D/D receptor partial agonist, is approved for the treatment of adults with schizophrenia (1.5-6 mg/day) and manic/mixed (3-6 mg/day) episodes associated with bipolar I disorder. This population pharmacokinetic analysis describes the concentration-time profiles of cariprazine and its two major active metabolites, desmethyl-cariprazine (DCAR) and didesmethyl-cariprazine (DDCAR). Additionally, the potential impact of patient characteristics, creatinine clearance, and cytochrome P450 2D6 (CYP2D6) metabolizer status on the pharmacokinetics of cariprazine and its metabolites was evaluated.
Data from three phase 1 and ten phase 2/3 studies in adult patients with schizophrenia or bipolar mania were included. Nonlinear mixed-effects pharmacokinetic modeling was performed using the NONMEM software package. Compartmental modeling was performed sequentially with the cariprazine elimination rate used as the DCAR formation rate and likewise the elimination rate of DCAR used with a delay as the DDCAR formation rate.
Cariprazine pharmacokinetics were described by a three-compartment model with zero-order input of the dose to a depot compartment followed by first-order absorption and first-order elimination. DCAR and DDCAR pharmacokinetics were described by two-compartment models with linear elimination. Statistically significant predictors of pharmacokinetic parameters included weight, sex, and race, though differences in exposures were not large enough to require an adjustment in dose. Creatinine clearance was not a statistically significant predictor of drug clearance, and a post hoc analysis found that CYP2D6 metabolizer status was not associated with changes in exposure levels for cariprazine, DCAR, or DDCAR. The median time to 90% of steady state was approximately 1 week for cariprazine and DCAR and 3 weeks for DDCAR.
Population pharmacokinetic modeling provided a quantitative description of the concentration-time profile of cariprazine and its metabolites.

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