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Inhibition of cytochrome P450 3A by clarithromycin uniformly affects the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of oxycodone in young and elderly volunteers.

Author(s): Liukas A, Hagelberg NM, Kuusniemi K, Neuvonen PJ, Olkkola KT

Affiliation(s): Department of Anaesthesiology, Intensive Care, Emergency Care and Pain Medicine, University of Turku, and Turku University Hospital, Turku. antti.liukas@tyks.fi

Publication date & source: 2011-06, J Clin Psychopharmacol., 31(3):302-8.

Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of the cytochrome P450 3A4 inhibitor clarithromycin on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of oral oxycodone in young and elderly subjects. Ten young and 10 elderly healthy subjects participated in this placebo-controlled, randomized, 2-phase crossover study. Subjects took clarithromycin 500 mg or placebo twice daily for 5 days. On day 4, subjects ingested an oral dose of 10 mg oxycodone. Plasma concentrations of oxycodone and its oxidative metabolites were measured for 48 hours, and pharmacological response for 12 hours. Clarithromycin decreased the apparent clearance of oxycodone by 53% in young and 48% in elderly subjects (P < 0.001) and prolonged its elimination half-life. The mean area under the plasma concentration-time curve (AUC0-infinity) of oxycodone was increased by 2.0-fold (range, 1.3-fold to 2.7-fold) (P < 0.001) in young and 2.3-fold (range, 1.1-fold to 3.8-fold) (P < 0.001) in elderly subjects. The formation of noroxycodone was decreased by 74% in young and 71% in elderly subjects (P < 0.001). The ratio of AUC0-infinity of oxycodone during the clarithromycin phase compared with the one with placebo did not differ between the age groups. Clarithromycin did not alter the pharmacological response to oxycodone. Clarithromycin increased the exposure to oral oxycodone, but the magnitude of this effect was not age related. Although the pharmacological response to oxycodone was not significantly influenced by clarithromycin, dose reductions may be necessary in the most sensitive patients to avoid adverse effects when oxycodone is used concomitantly with clarithromycin.

Page last updated: 2011-12-09

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