Reduced blood-brain barrier penetration of acne vulgaris antibiotic sarecycline compared to minocycline corresponds with lower lipophilicity

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Front Med (Lausanne)


BACKGROUND: Vestibular side effects such as dizziness and vertigo can be a limitation for some antibiotics commonly used to treat acne, rosacea, and other dermatology indications.

OBJECTIVE: Unlike minocycline, which is a second-generation tetracycline, sarecycline, a narrow-spectrum third-generation tetracycline-class agent approved to treat acne vulgaris, has demonstrated low rates of vestibular-related adverse events in clinical trials. In this work, we evaluate the brain-penetrative and lipophilic attributes of sarecycline in 2 non-clinical studies and discuss potential associations with vestibular adverse events.

METHODS: Rats received either intravenous sarecycline or minocycline (1.0 mg/kg). Blood-brain penetrance was measured at 1, 3, and 6 h postdosing. In another analysis, the lipophilicity of sarecycline, minocycline, and doxycycline was measured

RESULTS: Unlike minocycline, sarecycline was not detected in brain samples postdosing. In the octanol/water solvent system, sarecycline had a numerically lower lipophilicity profile than minocycline and doxycycline at pH 5.5 and 7.4.

CONCLUSION: The reduced blood-brain penetrance and lipophilicity of sarecycline compared with other tetracyclines may explain low rates of vestibular-related adverse events seen in clinical trials.

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