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Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2008 Jan;83(1):77-85. Epub 2007 May 9.

Contribution of itraconazole metabolites to inhibition of CYP3A4 in vivo.

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Department of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmacy, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.


Itraconazole (ITZ) is metabolized in vitro to three inhibitory metabolites: hydroxy-itraconazole (OH-ITZ), keto-itraconazole (keto-ITZ), and N-desalkyl-itraconazole (ND-ITZ). The goal of this study was to determine the contribution of these metabolites to drug-drug interactions caused by ITZ. Six healthy volunteers received 100 mg ITZ orally for 7 days, and pharmacokinetic analysis was conducted at days 1 and 7 of the study. The extent of CYP3A4 inhibition by ITZ and its metabolites was predicted using this data. ITZ, OH-ITZ, keto-ITZ, and ND-ITZ were detected in plasma samples of all volunteers. A 3.9-fold decrease in the hepatic intrinsic clearance of a CYP3A4 substrate was predicted using the average unbound steady-state concentrations (C(ss,ave,u)) and liver microsomal inhibition constants for ITZ, OH-ITZ, keto-ITZ, and ND-ITZ. Accounting for circulating metabolites of ITZ significantly improved the in vitro to in vivo extrapolation of CYP3A4 inhibition compared to a consideration of ITZ exposure alone.

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