Objective: To evaluate the effect of thalidomide on the plasma pharmacokinetics of ethinyl estradiol (INN, ethinylestradiol) and norethindrone (INN, norethisterone). Methods: Ten women who had undergone surgical sterilization were enrolled in an open-label crossover study conducted in the Georgetown University Clinical Research Center. The pharmacokinetics of single doses of 0.07 mg ethinyl estradiol and 2 mg norethindrone were measured at baseline and after 3 weeks of 200 mg thalidomide. Compliance with the thalidomide regimen was assessed with use of Medication Event Monitoring System (MEMS) caps. Results: No changes were observed in the pharmacokinetics of ethinyl estradiol or norethindrone with thalidomide therapy. The mean ± SD area under the plasma concentration-time curve (AUC(0-≡)) for ethinyl estradiol was 6580 ± 1100 ng · h/L at baseline and 5970 ± 1560 ng · h/T, after the thatalidomide deregimen (paired t test, P > .05). The values for norethindrone were 103 ± 54 μg · h/L and 107 ± 58 μg · h/L (paired t test, P > .05). No changes were observed for other pharmacokinetic parameters assessed for either ethinyl estradiol or norethindrone. No accumulation of thalidomide was seen after 21 days of therapy-day 1 AUC(0-≡) 41.1 ± 13.9 μg · h/mL; day 21 AUC(0-≡) 59.6 ± 27.3 μg · h/mL (paired t test, P > .05). No changes were observed for other pharmacokinetic parameters assessed for thalidomide between days 1 and 21. Thalidomide was well tolerated but caused variable degrees of sedation. The average thalidomide compliance rate was 97%. Conclusions: The pharmacokinetics of thalidomide do not change with 3 weeks of daily dosing. Thalidomide does not alter the pharmacokinetics of ethinyl estradiol or norethindrone. Therefore there is no drug interaction between thalidomide and these 2 drugs. The efficacy of oral contraceptives containing ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone should not be affected by concomitant thalidomide therapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)