Effect of food on early drug exposure from extended-release stimulants: results from the Concerta, Adderall XR Food Evaluation (CAFE) Study

by Auiler JF, Liu K, Lynch JM, Gelotte CK.
McNeil Consumer & Specialty Pharmaceuticals, Fort Washington, PA 19034, USA.
Curr Med Res Opin2002;18(5):311-6


Stimulant therapy is the mainstay of treatment for children, adolescents and adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Once-daily, extended-release oral formulations offer long acting control of symptoms by modifying drug delivery and absorption. In particular, consistency in early drug exposure is important for symptom control during school or work hours. Because these once-daily formulations are usually taken in the morning, the timing of the doses with breakfast is important. This study compared the effect of a high-fat breakfast on early drug exposure from a morning dose of two extended-release stimulant formulations: the osmotic-controlled OROS tablet of methylphenidate HCI (CONCERTA) and the capsule containing extended-release beads of mixed amphetamine salts (ADDERALL XR). The study had a single-dose, open-label, randomised, four-treatment, crossover design in which healthy subjects received either 36 mg CONCERTA or 20 mg ADDERALL XR in the morning after an overnight fast or a high-fat breakfast. Serial blood samples were collected over 28h to determine plasma concentrations of methylphenidate and amphetamine. The food effect on early drug exposure and the pharmacokinetic profiles up to 8 h after dosing of the two extended-release stimulants were directly compared using partial area (AUC(p4h), AUC(p6h) and AUC(p8h)) fed/fasted ratios. Amphetamine concentrations were markedly lower when the subjects had eaten breakfast, resulting in lower early drug exposures (p < 0.0001). By contrast, methylphenidate concentrations over the same 8 h were unaffected by breakfast, providing consistent levels of early drug exposure. Therefore, as a child's or adult's eating pattern varies, methylphenidate exposure over the first 8 h would be expected to have less day-to-day variation compared with amphetamine exposure. The osmotic-controlled OROS tablet provides a reliable and consistent delivery of methylphenidate HCI, independent of food, for patients with ADHD.