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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2004 Oct;311(1):228-36. Epub 2004 Jun 11.

Gemfibrozil and its glucuronide inhibit the organic anion transporting polypeptide 2 (OATP2/OATP1B1:SLC21A6)-mediated hepatic uptake and CYP2C8-mediated metabolism of cerivastatin: analysis of the mechanism of the clinically relevant drug-drug interaction between cerivastatin and gemfibrozil.

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School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Showa University, Tokyo, Japan.


A serious pharmacokinetic interaction between cerivastatin (CER) and gemfibrozil (GEM) has been reported. In the present study, we examined the inhibitory effects of GEM and its metabolites, M3 and gemfibrozil 1-O-beta-glucuronide (GEM-1-O-glu), on the uptake of CER by human organic anion transporting polypeptide 2 (OATP2)-expressing cells and its metabolism in cytochrome P450 expression systems. Uptake studies showed that GEM and GEM-1-O-glu significantly inhibited the OATP2-mediated uptake of CER with IC(50) values of 72 and 24 microM, respectively. They also inhibited the CYP2C8-mediated metabolism of CER with IC(50) values of 28 and 4 microM, respectively, whereas M3 had no effects. GEM and GEM-1-O-glu minimally inhibited the CYP3A4-mediated metabolism of CER. The IC(50) values of GEM and GEM-1-O-glu for the uptake and the metabolism of CER obtained in the present study were lower than their total, and not unbound, plasma concentrations. However, considering the possibly concentrated high unbound concentrations of GEM-1-O-glu in the liver and its relatively larger plasma unbound fraction compared with GEM itself, the glucuronide inhibition of the CYP2C8-mediated metabolism of CER appears to be the main mechanism for the clinically relevant drug-drug interaction. Previously reported clinical drug interaction studies showing that coadministration of GEM with pravastatin or pitavastatin, both of which are known to be cleared from the plasma by the uptake transporters in the liver, only minimally (less than 2-fold) increased the area under the plasma concentration-time curve of these statins, also supported our present conclusion.

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