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Liver dysfunction markedly decreases the inhibition of cytochrome P450 1A2-mediated theophylline metabolism by fluvoxamine.

Author(s): Orlando R, Padrini R, Perazzi M, De Martin S, Piccoli P, Palatini P

Affiliation(s): Department of Pharmacology and Anesthesiology, University of Padua, Italy.

Publication date & source: 2006-05, Clin Pharmacol Ther., 79(5):489-99.

Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: In vivo inhibition of cytochrome P450 (CYP) 1A2 by fluvoxamine causes a reduction in the clearance of the high-extraction drug lidocaine, which decreases in proportion to the degree of liver dysfunction. The objectives of this study were (1) to evaluate the effect of liver cirrhosis on the inhibition by fluvoxamine of the metabolic disposition of theophylline, a CYP1A2 substrate with a low-extraction ratio, to assess whether decreased sensitivity to CYP1A2 inhibition in liver disease is a general characteristic of CYP1A2 substrates, regardless of their pharmacokinetic properties, and (2) to investigate the mechanism(s) underlying the effect of liver dysfunction on CYP1A2 inhibition. METHODS: The study was carried out in 10 healthy volunteers and 20 patients with cirrhosis, 10 with mild liver dysfunction (Child class A) and 10 with severe liver dysfunction (Child class C), according to a randomized, double-blind, 2-phase, crossover design. In one phase all participants received placebo for 7 days; in the other phase they received one 50-mg fluvoxamine dose for 2 days and two 50-mg fluvoxamine doses, 12 hours apart, in the next 5 days. On day 6, 4 mg/kg of theophylline was administered orally 1 hour after the morning fluvoxamine dose. Concentrations of theophylline and its metabolites, 3-methylxanthine, 1-methyluric acid, and 1,3-dimethyluric acid, were then measured in plasma and urine up to 48 hours. RESULTS: Fluvoxamine-induced inhibition of theophylline clearance decreased from 62% in healthy subjects to 52% and 12% in patients with mild cirrhosis and those with severe cirrhosis, respectively. CYP1A2-mediated formations of 3-methylxanthine and 1-methyluric acid were almost totally inhibited in control subjects, whereas they were only reduced by one third in patients with Child class C cirrhosis. Inhibition of 1,3-dimethyluric acid formation, which is catalyzed by CYP1A2 and CYP2E1, progressively decreased from 58% in healthy subjects to 43% and 7% in patients with mild cirrhosis and those with severe cirrhosis, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: The effect of liver dysfunction on the inhibition of CYP1A2-mediated drug elimination is a general phenomenon, independent of the pharmacokinetic characteristics of the CYP1A2 substrate. Therefore, for any drug metabolized by CYP1A2, the clinical consequences of enzyme inhibition are expected to become less and less important as liver function worsens. Two mechanisms, as follows in order of importance, are responsible for the effect of liver dysfunction: (1) decreased sensitivity to fluvoxamine of CYP1A2-mediated biotransformations in the cirrhotic liver, probably resulting from reduced uptake of the inhibitory drug, and (2) reduced hepatic expression of CYP1A2, which makes its contribution to overall drug elimination less important.

Page last updated: 2006-11-04

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