Hydroxocobalamin (also hydroxycobalamin, OHCbl) is a natural form, or vitamer, of vitamin B12. It is a member of the cobalamin family of compounds. Hydroxocobalamin, the active ingredient in Cyanokit, is cobinamide dihydroxide dihydrogen phosphate (ester), mono (inner salt), 3’-ester with 5,6-dimethyl-1-α-D-ribofuranosyl-1H-benzimidazole. The drug substance is the hydroxylated active form of vitamin B12 and is a large molecule in which a trivalent cobalt ion is coordinated in four positions by a tetrapyrol (or corrin) ring. It is a hygroscopic, odorless, dark red, crystalline powder that is freely soluble in water and ethanol, and practically insoluble in acetone and diethyl ether. Cyanokit contains hydroxocobalamin, an antidote indicated for the treatment of known or suspected cyanide poisoning. Cyanide is an extremely toxic poison. In the absence of rapid and adequate treatment, exposure to a high dose of cyanide can result in death within minutes due to the inhibition of cytochrome oxidase resulting in arrest of cellular respiration. Specifically, cyanide binds rapidly with cytochrome a3, a component of the cytochrome c oxidase complex in mitochondria. Inhibition of cytochrome a3 prevents the cell from using oxygen and forces anaerobic metabolism, resulting in lactate production, cellular hypoxia and metabolic acidosis. In massive acute cyanide poisoning, the mechanism of toxicity may involve other enzyme systems as well. Signs and symptoms of acute systemic cyanide poisoning may develop rapidly within minutes, depending on the route and extent of cyanide exposure. The action of Cyanokit is based on its ability to bind cyanide ions. Each hydroxocobalamin molecule can bind one cyanide ion by substituting it for the hydroxo ligand linked to the trivalent cobalt ion, to form cyanocobalamin, which is then excreted in the urine. NCATS
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