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J Clin Pharmacol. 2000 Mar;40(3):266-74.

Pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic modeling of testosterone and luteinizing hormone suppression by cetrorelix in healthy volunteers.

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  • 1Department of Biological Research Biochemistry, ASTA Medica AG, Frankfurt, Germany.


Cetrorelix (CET), a potent luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LH-RH) antagonist, was recently approved for the prevention of premature ovulation in patients undergoing a controlled ovarian stimulation (COS), followed by oocyte pickup and assisted reproductive techniques (ART), and is currently under clinical trials for benign prostate hyperplasia, endometriosis, and tumors sensitive to sex hormones. CET suppresses luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and testosterone (T) in men. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the pharmacokinetics and absolute bioavailability of 3 mg intravenously and subcutaneously administered CET in healthy male and female volunteers and to develop a pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic (PK-PD) model to link the plasma concentrations of CET to the T and LH suppression in males. Following intravenous (IV) (n = 5) and subcutaneous (SC) (n = 6) administration of CET acetate, CET and hormone plasma levels were measured by radioimmunoassay (RIA) and enzyme immunoassay (EIA) methods, respectively. Pharmacokinetics of CET was explained by a three-compartment model for the IV route and by a two-compartment model with first-order absorption for the SC route. Average absolute bioavailability after SC administration was 85%. There were no differences in the pharmacokinetics between male and female subjects (ANOVA, p > 0.05). Single IV and SC doses of CET caused immediate and distinct suppression of LH, FSH, and T levels by 80%, 45% and 95% of their baseline levels, respectively. The duration of hormone suppression was longer for the SC route. An indirect-response PK-PD Emax model was developed to link the measured CET plasma concentrations with the respective T or LH levels. In addition, the circadian rhythm of T levels was accounted by including a cosine function in a second separate PD model. The PD model with cosine function was applied to T baseline levels as well as to the suppressed concentrations after CET dosing. The two models adequately described the PK-PD relationship between plasma levels of CET and T suppression following IV and SC dosing. The EC50 values (mean +/- SD) for the suppression of T were similar (p > 0.05) between the two routes of administration and the two models.

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