A previously presented physiologically-based pharmacokinetic model for immediate release (IR) methylphenidate (MPH) was extended to characterize the pharmacokinetic behaviors of oral extended release (ER) MPH formulations in adults for the first time. Information on the anatomy and physiology of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, together with the biopharmaceutical properties of MPH, was integrated into the original model, with model parameters representing hepatic metabolism and intestinal non-specific loss recalibrated against in vitro and in vivo kinetic data sets with IR MPH. A Weibull function was implemented to describe the dissolution of different ER formulations. A variety of mathematical functions can be utilized to account for the engineered release/dissolution technologies to achieve better model performance. The physiological absorption model tracked well the plasma concentration profiles in adults receiving a multilayer-release MPH formulation or Metadate CD, while some degree of discrepancy was observed between predicted and observed plasma concentration profiles for Ritalin LA and Medikinet Retard. A local sensitivity analysis demonstrated that model parameters associated with the GI tract significantly influenced model predicted plasma MPH concentrations, albeit to varying degrees, suggesting the importance of better understanding the GI tract physiology, along with the intestinal non-specific loss of MPH. The model provides a quantitative tool to predict the biphasic plasma time course data for ER MPH, helping elucidate factors responsible for the diverse plasma MPH concentration profiles following oral dosing of different ER formulations
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