Pharmacokinetic study of benfotiamine and the bioavailability assessment compared to thiamine hydrochloride



Benfotiamine is a lipid-soluble thiamine precursor which can transform to thiamine in vivo and subsequently be metabolized to thiamine monophosphate (TMP) and thiamine diphosphate (TDP). This study investigated the pharmacokinetic profiles of thiamine and its phosphorylated metabolites after single- and multiple-dose administration of benfotiamine in healthy Chinese volunteers, and assessed the bioavailability of orally benfotiamine administration compared to thiamine hydrochloride. In addition, concentration of hippuric acid in urine which is produced in the transformation process of benfotiamine was determined. The results showed that thiamine and its phosphorylated metabolites exhibited different pharmacokinetic characteristics in plasma, blood and erythrocyte, and one-compartment model provided the best fit for pharmacokinetic profiles of thiamine. The transformation process of benfotiamine to thiamine produced large amount of hippuric acid. No accumulation of hippuric acid was observed after multiple-dose of benfotiamine. Compared to thiamine hydrochloride, the bioavailability of thiamine in plasma and TDP in erythrocyte after oral administration of benfotiamine were 1147.3 ± 490.3% and 195.8 ± 33.8%, respectively. The absorption rate and extent of benfotiamine systemic availability of thiamine were significantly increased indicating higher bioavailability of thiamine from oral dose of benfotiamine compared to oral dose of thiamine hydrochloride.