• bioavailability;
  • gabapentin enacarbil;
  • population pharmacokinetics;
  • restless legs syndrome


Gabapentin enacarbil (GEn) is an actively transported prodrug of gabapentin that provides sustained dose-proportional exposure to gabapentin and predictable bioavailability. Gabapentin enacarbil is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of moderate-to-severe primary restless legs syndrome (RLS) in adults. Using plasma gabapentin concentration data obtained after administration of GEn in 12 phase 1 to 3 GEn studies in healthy adults or patients with RLS (dose range, 300-2400 mg/d), a population pharmacokinetic (PK) model was developed by nonlinear mixed-effect modeling using NONMEM. Data were similar in subjects with and without RLS. Population PK-pharmacodynamic (PD) models were evaluated using gabapentin exposure and change from baseline in investigator- or patient-rated Clinical Global Impression of Improvement (CGI-I) or International Restless Legs Scale (IRLS) total score. Potential PK-PD models for sleep outcomes and safety parameters were also explored. The CGI-I response increased with increasing GEn dose, whereas the IRLS total score was similar at all exposures tested. Early adverse events of dizziness or somnolence/sedation were more frequent for GEn 600 mg than higher doses; however, this is confounded by the fact that all subjects received the 600-mg dose for 3 days prior to titration to higher dosages.