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Profile of sodium phenylbutyrate granules for the treatment of urea-cycle disorders: patient perspectives

Authors Peña-Quintana L, Llarena M, Reyes-Suárez D, Aldámiz-Echevarria L

Received 11 March 2017

Accepted for publication 1 August 2017

Published 6 September 2017 Volume 2017:11 Pages 1489—1496


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Luis Peña-Quintana,1–3 Marta Llarena,2 Desiderio Reyes-Suárez,2 Luis Aldámiz-Echevarria4

1Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition Unit, Universitario Materno-Infantil Hospital de Canarias, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 2Research Institute of Biomedical and Health Sciences, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas, 3CIBEROBN, Madrid, 4Unit of Metabolism, Cruces University Hospital, BioCruces Health Research Institute, GCV-CIBER de Enfremedades Raras (CIBERER), Barakaldo, Spain

Abstract: Urea-cycle disorders are a group of rare hereditary metabolic diseases characterized by deficiencies of one of the enzymes and transporters involved in the urea cycle, which is necessary for the removal of nitrogen produced from protein breakdown. These hereditary metabolic diseases are characterized by hyperammonemia and life-threatening hyperammonemic crises. Pharmacological treatment of urea-cycle disorders involves alternative nitrogen-scavenging pathways. Sodium benzoate combines with glycine and phenylacetate/phenylbutyrate with glutamine, forming, respectively, hippuric acid and phenylacetylglutamine, which are eliminated in the urine. Among the ammonia-scavenging drugs, sodium phenylbutyrate is a well-known long-term treatment of urea-cycle disorders. It has been used since 1987 as an investigational new drug, and was approved for marketing in the US in 1996 and the EU in 1999. However, sodium phenylbutyrate has an aversive odor and taste, which may compromise patients’ compliance, and many patients have reported difficulty in taking this drug. Sodium phenylbutyrate granules are a new tasteless and odor-free formulation of sodium phenylbutyrate, which is indicated in the treatment of urea-cycle disorders. This recently developed taste-masked formulation of sodium phenylbutyrate granules was designed to overcome the considerable issues that taste has on adherence to therapy. Several studies have reported the clinical experience of patients with urea-cycle disorders treated with this new tasteless formulation of sodium phenylbutyrate. Analysis of the data indicated that this taste-masked formulation of sodium phenylbutyrate granules improved quality of life for urea-cycle disorder patients. Furthermore, a postmarketing report on the use of the product has confirmed the previous observations of improved compliance, efficacy, and safety with this taste-masked formulation of sodium phenylbutyrate.

sodium phenylbutyrate granules, urea-cycle disorders, treatment adherence, quality of life

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