Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is estimated to affect 3%–8% of reproductive age women. Multiple therapeutic modalities have been evaluated with varying efficacy for the associated somatic and mood symptoms. The majority of older studies had shown that oral contraceptive pills (OCs) were most effective for the physical symptoms. However, newer OCs containing a novel progestin, drospirenone, have shown promise in alleviating both the somatic and affective/behavioral symptoms. This progestin, which is a derivative of spironolactone, has both antimineralocorticoid and antiandrogenic activity. A 24/4 formulation containing 20 μg of ethinyl estradiol has been found effective in randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trials utilizing established scales documenting symptoms associated with PMDD. Multiple studies have shown that drospirenone-containing OCs are safe without evidence of clinically adverse effects on carbohydrate metabolism, lipids, blood pressure, weight, serum potassium or increased thrombotic events compared to other low dose OCs. In addition, significant improvements have been demonstrated in acne, hirsutism, and fluid retention symptoms. Several open label studies demonstrated good patient compliance and reported satisfaction with the method. Because of the significant placebo effect demonstrated in the blinded placebo-controlled trials, additional large randomized placebo-controlled trials are needed to confirm the efficacy of the drospirenone OCs in the treatment of PMDD. However, this OC formulation appears to be a promising therapeutic modality.
drospirenone; premenstrual dysphoric disorder; premenstrual syndrome; oral contraceptive pill
Recent concerns have been raised about the risk of gallbladder disease associated with the use of drospirenone, a fourth-generation progestin used in oral contraceptives. We conducted a study to determine the magnitude of this risk compared with other formulations of oral contraceptives.
We conducted a retrospective cohort study using the IMS LifeLink Health Plan Claims Database. We included women who were using an oral contraceptive containing ethinyl estradiol combined with a progestin during 1997–2009. To be eligible, women had to have been taking the oral contraceptive continuously for at least six months. We computed adjusted rate ratios (RRs) for gallbladder disease using a Cox proportional hazards model. In the primary analysis, gallbladder disease was defined as cholecystectomy; in a secondary analysis, it was defined as hospital admission secondary to gallbladder disease.
We included 2 721 014 women in the cohort, 27 087 of whom underwent surgical or laparoscopic cholecystectomy during the follow-up period. Compared with levonorgestrel, an older second-generation progestin, a small, statistically significant increase in the risk of gallbladder disease was associated with desogestrel (adjusted RR 1.05, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.01–1.09), drospirenone (adjusted RR 1.20, 95% CI 1.16–1.26) and norethindrone (adjusted RR 1.10, 95% CI 1.06–1.14). No statistically significant increase in risk was associated with the other formulations of oral contraceptive (ethynodiol diacetate, norgestrel and norgestimate).
In a large cohort of women using oral contraceptives, we found a small, statistically significant increase in the risk of gallbladder disease associated with desogestrel, drospirenone and norethindrone compared with levonorgestrel. However, the small effect sizes compounded with the possibility of residual biases in this observational study make it unlikely that these differences are clinically significant.
Objective To compare the risk of non-fatal venous thromboembolism in women receiving oral contraceptives containing drospirenone with that in women receiving oral contraceptives containing levonorgestrel.
Design Nested case-control and cohort study.
Setting The study was based on information from PharMetrics, a United States based company that collects information on claims paid by managed care plans.
Participants The study encompassed all women aged 15 to 44 years who received an oral contraceptive containing either drospirenone or levonorgestrel after 1 January 2002. Cases were women with current use of a study oral contraceptive and a diagnosis of venous thromboembolism in the absence of identifiable clinical risk factors (idiopathic venous thromboembolism). Up to four controls were matched to each case by age and calendar time.
Main outcome measures Odds ratios comparing the risk of non-fatal venous thromboembolism in users of the two contraceptives; incidence rates and rate ratios of non-fatal venous thromboembolism for users of each of the study contraceptives.
Results 186 newly diagnosed, idiopathic cases of venous thromboembolism were identified in the study population and matched with 681 controls. In the case-control analysis, the conditional odds ratio for venous thromboembolism comparing use of oral contraceptives containing drospirenone with use of those containing levonorgestrel was 2.3 (95% confidence interval 1.6 to 3.2). The incidence rates for venous thromboembolism in the study population were 30.8 (95% confidence interval 25.6 to 36.8) per 100 000 woman years among users of oral contraceptives containing drospirenone and 12.5 (9.61 to 15.9) per 100 000 woman years among users of oral contraceptives containing levonorgestrel. The age adjusted incidence rate ratio for venous thromboembolism for current use of oral contraceptives containing drospirenone compared with those containing levonorgestrel was 2.8 (2.1 to 3.8).
Conclusions The risk of non-fatal venous thromboembolism among users of oral contraceptives containing drospirenone seems to be around twice that of users of oral contraceptives containing levonorgestrel, after the effects of potential confounders and prescribing biases have been taken into account.
The combined oral contraceptive pill (COC) consisting of drospirenone 3 mg/ethinyl estradiol 20 μg (3 mg DRSP/20 μg EE-24/4) supplies 24 days of pills with hormones followed by 4 days of hormone-free pills. This regimen is called the 24/4 regimen. The progesterone component of this oral contraceptive pill (OCP), drospirenone (DRSP), is a fourth-generation progestin that has potent progestogenic, antimineralocorticoid, and antiandrogenic activity, which are unique characteristics compared with the other progestogens contained in most of the other OCPs currently marketed. This formulation, in addition to being an effective long-term OCP, has the additional medical benefit of providing a good parallel treatment for premenstrual dysphoric disorder and moderate acne. The effectiveness of 3 mg DRSP/20 μg EE-24/4, its tolerability and safety, and its additional non-contraceptive benefits are discussed.
drospirenone; premenstrual dysphoric disorder; acne vulgaris; contraception; antimineralocorticoid activity; antiandrogenic activity
Objective To examine the risk of non-fatal idiopathic venous thromboembolism in current users of a combined oral contraceptive containing drospirenone, relative to current users of preparations containing levonorgestrel.
Design Nested case-control study.
Setting UK General Practice Research Database.
Participants Women aged 15-44 years without major risk factors for venous thromboembolism who started a new episode of use of an oral contraceptive containing 30 µg oestrogen in combination with either drospirenone or levonorgestrel between May 2002 and September 2009. Cases were women with a first diagnosis of venous thromboembolism; up to four controls, matched by age, duration of recorded information, and general practice, were randomly selected for each case.
Main outcome measures Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals estimated with conditional logistic regression; age adjusted incidence rate ratio estimated with Poisson regression.
Results 61 cases of idiopathic venous thromboembolism and 215 matched controls were identified. In the case-control analysis, current use of the drospirenone contraceptive was associated with a threefold higher risk of non-fatal idiopathic venous thromboembolism compared with levonorgestrel use; the odds ratio adjusted for body mass index was 3.3 (95% confidence interval 1.4 to 7.6). Subanalyses suggested that referral, diagnostic, first time user, duration of use, and switching biases were unlikely explanations for this finding. The crude incidence rate was 23.0 (95% confidence interval 13.4 to 36.9) per 100 000 woman years in current users of drospirenone and 9.1 (6.6 to 12.2) per 100 000 woman years in current users of levonorgestrel oral contraceptives. The age adjusted incidence rate ratio was 2.7 (1.5 to 4.7).
Conclusions These findings contribute to emerging evidence that the combined oral contraceptive containing drospirenone carries a higher risk of venous thromboembolism than do formulations containing levonorgestrel.
Ethinyl estradiol (EE) increases endothelium-dependent vasodilation in young women, but certain progestins paired with EE in combination OCPs have been shown to antagonize the vasodilatory effects of EE. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate how endothelial function, serum biomarkers, and resting blood pressures change across an OCP cycle in women using a monophasic OCP formulation containing the progestin drospirenone.
Twelve women were studied during two hormone phases of their OCP cycle; once at the end of three weeks of active pills (30 mcg EE and 3.0 mg drospirenone), and once at the end of a week of placebo pills (no exogenous hormones).
Endothelium-dependent vasodilation was greater during the active phase compared to the placebo phase (p < 0.001). In contrast, there was no difference in endothelium-independent dilation between hormone phases.
These data suggest that the combination of 30 mcg EE and 3.0 mg drospirenone used in the active phase of this OCP increases endothelium-dependent vasodilation compared to a placebo phase.
progestin; estrogen; vasodilation; birth control pills; drospirenone; blood pressure
Objective. To compare the efficacy of low-dose COC containing desogestrel (DSG) with drospirenone (DRSP) in the changes of premenstrual symptoms. Methods. In an open-label randomized controlled trial, 90 women with premenstrual syndrome who required COC were randomly recruited and allocated equally to receive either 6 cycles of 20 micrograms ethinyl estradiol (EE)/150 micrograms DSG (DSG group) or 20 micrograms EE/3 mg DRSP (DRSP group) in 24/4 extended regimen. Analysis of covariance and repeated analysis of variance were used to determine the difference of mean Women's Health Assessment Questionnaire (WHAQ) scores changes between groups, within group, and in premenstrual, menstrual, and postmenstrual phases. Results. Baseline characteristics and WHAQ scores were comparable. At the ends of the 3rd and the 6th cycles, mean WHAQ scores of all the 3 phases in DRSP group showed significant reduction and were significantly lower than those in DSG group. DSG group showed significant reduction in both premenstrual and menstrual phases after the 6th cycle. Adverse effects were comparable in both groups. In conclusion, low-dose COC containing either DSG or DRSP reduced premenstrual symptoms, but the latter showed greater efficacy and earlier reduction.
Acne is a common disorder affecting the majority of adolescents and often extends into adulthood. The central pathophysiological feature of acne is increased androgenic stimulation and/or end-organ sensitivity of pilosebaceous units leading to sebum hypersecretion and infundibular hyperkeratinization. These events lead to Propionibacterium acnes proliferation and subsequent inflammation. Hormonal therapy, including combined oral contraceptives (OCs), can attenuate the proximate androgenic trigger of this sequence. For many women, hormonal therapy is a rational option for acne treatment as it may be useful across the spectrum of severity. Drospirenone (DRSP) is a unique progestin structurally related to spironolactone with progestogenic, antimineralocorticoid, and antiandrogenic properties. It is available in 2 combined OC preparations (30 μg EE/3 mg DRSP; Yasmin® in a 21/7 regimen; and 20 μg EE/3 mg DRSP; Yaz® in a 24/4 regimen). These preparations are bereft of the fluid retentional side effects typical of other progestins and their safety has been demonstrated in large epidemiological studies in which no increased risk of vascular thromboembolic disease or arrhythmias was observed. In acne, the efficacy of DRSP-containing OCs has been shown in placebo-controlled superiority trials and in active-comparator non-inferiority trials.
acne vulgaris; combined oral contraceptives; drosperinone; ethinyl estradiol; efficacy; safety; treatment
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common endocrine/metabolic disorders found in women, affecting approximately 105 million women worldwide. It is characterized by ovulatory dysfunction, often presenting as oligomenorrhea or amenorrhea and either clinical or biochemical hyperandrogenism. Combined oral contraceptive (COC) therapy has long been a cornerstone of care for women with PCOS. COC therapy often provides clinical improvement in the areas of excessive hair growth, unpredictable menses, acne, and weight gain. One of the main issues in COC therapy is choosing the most appropriate progestin component to provide the greatest anti androgenic effects. Drospirenone, a relatively new progestin, has shown benefit in the PCOS population when used in conjunction with ethinyl estradiol. We now review the role of COCs in PCOS, focusing specifically on drospirenone. Controversy over metabolic effects of COCs in PCOS is also discussed.
polycystic ovary syndrome; PCOS; oral contraceptives; drospirenone; treatment
Combined oral contraceptives are a common method of contraception, but they carry a risk of venous and arterial thrombosis. We assessed whether use of drospirenone was associated with an increase in thrombotic risk relative to third-generation combined oral contraceptives.
Using computerized records of the largest health care provider in Israel, we identified all women aged 12 to 50 years for whom combined oral contraceptives had been dispensed between Jan. 1, 2002, and Dec. 31, 2008. We followed the cohort until 2009. We used Poisson regression models to estimate the crude and adjusted rate ratios for risk factors for venous thrombotic events (specifically deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism) and arterial thromboic events (specifically transient ischemic attack and cerebrovascular accident). We performed multivariable analyses to compare types of contraceptives, with adjustment for the various risk factors.
We identified a total of 1017 (0.24%) venous and arterial thrombotic events among 431 223 use episodes during 819 749 woman-years of follow-up (6.33 venous events and 6.10 arterial events per 10 000 woman-years). In a multivariable model, use of drospirenone carried an increased risk of venous thrombotic events, relative to both third-generation combined oral contraceptives (rate ratio [RR] 1.43, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.15–1.78) and second-generation combined oral contraceptives (RR 1.65, 95% CI 1.02–2.65). There was no increase in the risk of arterial thrombosis with drospirenone.
Use of drospirenone-containing oral contraceptives was associated with an increased risk of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, but not transient ischemic attack or cerebrovascular attack, relative to second- and third-generation combined oral contraceptives.
The primary objective was to assess the efficacy, cycle control and tolerability of a monophasic combined oral contraceptive (COC) containing nomegestrol acetate (NOMAC) and 17β-oestradiol (E2). Effects on acne were evaluated as a secondary objective. Results were compared to those of a COC containing drospirenone (DRSP) and ethinylestradiol (EE).
Women (aged 18-50 years) were randomised to receive NOMAC/E2 (2.5 mg/1.5 mg) in a 24/4-day regimen (n = 1591) or DRSP/EE (3 mg/30 μg) in a 21/7-day regimen (n = 535) for 13 cycles.
Estimated Pearl Indices for NOMAC/E2 and DRSP/EE were 0.38 and 0.81 in women aged ≤ 35 years and 0.31 and 0.66 for all women (18–50 years), respectively. Scheduled withdrawal bleedings were shorter and lighter among users of NOMAC/E2 and were sometimes absent altogether. Intracyclic bleeding/spotting was infrequent in both groups, and decreased over time. Type and frequency of adverse events were similar to those typically reported for COCs.
These data show that NOMAC/E2 provides high contraceptive efficacy with acceptable cycle control as well as an overall adverse event profile similar to that of DRSP/EE.
Combined oral contraceptive; Nomegestrol acetate; 17β-oestradiol; Efficacy; Safety; Cycle control
During menopause vasomotor symptoms are one of the main complaints about which women seek medical advice. For symptom control, several therapies have been used, among which hormone therapy has produced good results. One of these is estrogen monotherapy, which unfortunately may induce endometrial hyperplasia in women with an intact uterus. A progestin must be added to avoid this risk. Progestins may induce several secondary effects such as breast tenderness, hirsutism, edema and unfavorable lipid profile modifications. Recently a new progestin called drospirenone has been synthesized and used in combination with estradiol for the treatment of postmenopausal women. This progestin is derived from spironolactone, and lacks estrogenic, androgenic and glucocorticoid activities. Several studies have evaluated safety, efficacy and patient tolerability, and have shown a good profile in all these parameters. All studies agree that the combination of estradiol 1 mg plus drospirenone 2 mg is a good choice for postmenopausal women with vasomotor symptoms.
estradiol; drospirenone; postmenopause; review
A 24-day regimen of contraceptive doses of drospirenone and ethinylestradiol (DRSP/EE 24d) was recently launched. This regimen has properties which may be beneficial for certain user populations (e.g., women suffering from premenstrual dysphoric disorder or acne). However, it is unknown whether this extended regimen has an impact on the cardiovascular risk associated with the use of oral contraceptives (OCs). The INternational Active Surveillance study of women taking Oral Contraceptives (INAS-OC) is designed to investigate the short- and long-term safety of the new regimen in a population which is representative for the typical user of oral contraceptives.
A large, prospective, controlled, non-interventional, long-term cohort study with active surveillance of the study participants has been chosen to ensure reliable and valid results. More than 2,000 gynecologists in the US and 5 European countries (Austria, Germany, Italy, Poland, and Sweden) will recruit more than 80,000 OC users. The two to five year follow-up of these women will result in at least 220,000 documented women-years.
The main clinical outcomes of interest for the follow-up are deep venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, acute myocardial infarction and cerebrovascular accidents. Secondary objectives are general safety, effectiveness and drug utilization pattern of DRSP/EE 24d, return to fertility after stop of OC use, as well as the baseline risk for users of individual OC formulations.
Because of the non-interference character of this study, potential participants (first-time users or switchers) are informed about the study only after the decision regarding prescription of a new OC. There are no specific medical inclusion or exclusion criteria. Study participation is voluntary and a written informed consent is required. After the baseline questionnaire, follow-up questionnaires will be mailed to the participants every 6 months for up to 5 years after baseline. Self-reported serious adverse events will be validated by contacting the relevant physician and by reviewing relevant source documents. At the end of the study an independent blinded adjudication of relevant clinical outcomes will be conducted.
Meanwhile, this study has received ethical approval from the Western Institutional Review Board (USA) and the Medical Association in Berlin (Germany).
The feasibility of the study is considered to be very high because of its similar design to the EURAS-OC study. All relevant methodological and logistical features of the study were successfully tested in the EURAS study.
The chosen design minimizes the impact of referral and misclassification bias, healthy user effect and loss to follow-up. Overall, it is expected that the study design is robust enough to interpret hazard ratios of 1.5 or higher.
Increased iron stores are associated with greater cardiovascular risk in post-menopausal women. Oral contraceptive pill (OCP) use decreases the volume of menstrual blood loss and increases iron stores, but the link between OCP use, iron stores, and cardiovascular risk in pre-menopausal women has not been characterized.
We conducted a cross-sectional study of 23 healthy OCP users to determine the association between type and duration of OCP exposure, iron stores, and vascular endothelial function [flow-mediated dilation (FMD) in the brachial artery].
Median duration of OCP use was 45 months. FMD in the brachial artery was significantly associated with progestin type used (estranes/gonanes vs. drospirenone) and duration of OCP use (both p<0.05) but not iron stores. In multivariate analysis, progestin type was the only independent predictor of FMD.
Use of OCP containing drospirenone was independently associated with greater FMD in the brachial artery, and thus a potentially more favorable cardiovascular risk profile, when compared with use of OCP containing estranes/gonanes.
oral contraceptive pills; progestins; vascular endothelium; iron
The effect of resveratrol on the management of endometriosis-related pain was investigated in 12 patients who failed to obtain pain relief during use of an oral contraceptive containing drospirenone + ethinylestradiol.
Methods and results
The addition of 30 mg of resveratrol to the contraceptive regimen resulted in a significant reduction in pain scores, with 82% of patients reporting complete resolution of dysmenorrhea and pelvic pain after 2 months of use. In a separate experiment, aromatase and cyclo-oxygenase-2 expression were investigated in the endometrial tissue of 42 patients submitted to laparoscopy and hysteroscopy for the management of endometriosis. Sixteen of these patients were using oral contraceptives alone prior to hospital admission, while the remaining 26 were using them in combination with resveratrol. Inhibition of both aromatase and cyclo-oxygenase-2 expression was significantly greater in the eutopic endometrium of patients using combined drospirenone + resveratrol therapy compared with the endometrium of patients using oral contraceptives alone.
These results suggest that resveratrol potentiates the effect of oral contraceptives in the management of endometriosis-associated dysmenorrhea by further decreasing aromatase and cyclo-oxygenase-2 expression in the endometrium.
resveratrol; drospirenone; endometriosis; dysmenorrhea; cyclo-oxygenase-2
Elevated mineralocorticoid levels and female sex hormones have been shown to confer opposing effects on renal injury, but their combined effects are still unknown.
Identify the function of estrogens and of different synthetic progestins on aldosterone salt–mediated renal disease.
The role of 17β-estradiol, medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA), and drospirenone during renal injury was studied in Wistar rats subjected to uni-nephrectomy plus aldosterone salt treatment.
Aldo-salt treatment of intact, ovariectomized, and estradiol-treated female rats resulted in remnant kidney hypertrophy without structural damage. Co-treatment with MPA, but not with drospirenone, increased kidney hypertrophy, fluid turnover, sodium retention, and potassium excretion. Medroxyprogesterone acetate also caused glomerular, vascular, tubular, and interstitial lesions that were accompanied by increased blood pressure and enhanced NADPH oxidase (p67phox) and sodium channel (α-ENaC) expression. Drospirenone, a progestin with anti-mineralocorticoid function, and spironolactone prevented kidney hypertrophy, hypertension, and sodium retention. Drospirenone and spironolactone also increased renal angiotensin II type 2 receptor expression and relieved aldosterone-induced suppression of serum angiotensin II levels.
The choice of specific synthetic progestins has profound implications on the development of kidney injury and renal gene expression under conditions of elevated aldosterone serum levels and salt intake.
sex; aldosterone; renal injury; progesterone; sex hormones
The post marketing safety surveillance program for a drug containing a new chemical entity should assess both, the safety outcomes that relate specifically to the targeted population, as well as those that could potentially be related to special pharmacological characteristics of the drug. Active safety surveillance using valid epidemiological study designs has been proven to be a pertinent and reliable method to approach this endeavor.
The primary objective of the study is to compare incidence rates of serious adverse events in users of all types of newly prescribed oral HRT products. This active surveillance study will assess pertinent cardiovascular outcomes - in particular venous and arterial thromboembolism - and other serious adverse events (SAEs) in new HRT users over a period of several years. One product under surveillance is Angeliq®, which contains the novel progestagen drospirenone (DRSP) combined with estradiol. In addition, all other oral combined HRT products with a novel progestagen or estrogen that will be newly marketed during the study period will be studied. These new HRT products will be compared with established HRT products. The combined cohort will include at least 30,000 women recruited in several European countries. At least 90,000 years of observation are expected from the field work which started in early 2002 and will end around 2008. The participating women will complete a baseline survey using a self-administered questionnaire to describe the baseline risk. After 6 months, 12 months, and then on an annual basis, they will fill out a questionnaire in which they record complaints and events during the use of the prescribed HRTs. All adverse outcomes occurring during the observational period will be evaluated.
A complete lifetime medical history, individually validated SAEs over time, and a low loss to follow-up rate are essential for a robust safety assessment. Therefore, the lifetime history of diseases and relevant medications will be documented. Reported SAEs will be validated and analyzed. A four level, multi-faceted follow-up process was established to ensure low loss to follow-up rates (e.g., 3–5% after three years of follow up). Multivariate methods will be used to adjust for confounding.
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Pharmacologic options studied for treating severe PMS and PMDD may include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, anxiolytic agents, gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists and the diuretic spironolactone. However, the use of combined oral contraceptives (COC) may be a therapeutic option in treating PMS and PMDD. The combination of drospirenone with ethinylestradiol (EE/drospirenone) was approved for marketing as an oral contraceptive in Europe and the United States. The preparation is characterized by a high contraceptive efficacy in combination with excellent cycle control, good tolerability, and a favourable impact on lipid and glucose metabolism. Recently, some placebo-controlled, randomized studies have tested clinical efficacy and tolerability of this COC in the treatment of PMDD. The aim of the present review was to elucidate the possible benefits or disadvantages of PMDD treatment with this novel formulation of EE/drospirenone. The results of trials evaluating the use of EE/drospirenone combination in the treatment of PMDD are encouraging but further studies are needed. However, the reported clinical efficacy and the relative good tolerability of EE/drospirenone may contribute to widen the therapeutic spectrum of PMDD.
Premenstrual dysphoric disord©er; oral contraceptives; drospirenone; ethinylestradiol; efficacy; tolerability
Consistent with its effect on gastric emptying, exenatide, an injectable treatment for type 2 diabetes, may slow the absorption rate of concomitantly administered oral drugs resulting in a decrease in maximum concentration (Cmax). This study evaluated the drug interaction potential of exenatide when administered adjunctively with oral contraceptives, given their potential concomitant use.
This trial evaluated the effect of exenatide co-administration on single- and multiple-dose pharmacokinetics of a combination oral contraceptive (ethinyl estradiol [EE] 30 μg, levonorgestrel [LV] 150 μg [Microgynon 30®]). Thirty-two healthy female subjects participated in an open-label, randomised, crossover trial with 3 treatment periods (oral contraceptive alone, 1 hour before exenatide, 30 minutes after exenatide). Subjects received a single dose of oral contraceptive on Day 8 of each period and QD doses on Days 10 through 28. During treatment periods of concomitant usage, exenatide was administered subcutaneously prior to morning and evening meals at 5 μg BID from Days 1 through 4 and at 10 μg BID from Days 5 through 22. Single- (Day 8) and multiple-dose (Day 22) pharmacokinetic profiles were assessed for each treatment period.
Exenatide did not alter the bioavailability nor decrease daily trough concentrations for either oral contraceptive component. No substantive changes in oral contraceptive pharmacokinetics occurred when oral contraceptive was administered 1 hour before exenatide. Single-dose oral contraceptive administration 30 minutes after exenatide resulted in mean (90% CI) Cmax reductions of 46% (42-51%) and 41% (35-47%) for EE and LV, respectively. Repeated daily oral contraceptive administration 30 minutes after exenatide resulted in Cmax reductions of 45% (40-50%) and 27% (21-33%) for EE and LV, respectively. Peak oral contraceptive concentrations were delayed approximately 3 to 4 hours. Mild-to-moderate nausea and vomiting were the most common adverse events observed during the trial.
The observed reduction in Cmax is likely of limited importance given the unaltered oral contraceptive bioavailability and trough concentrations; however, for oral medications that are dependent on threshold concentrations for efficacy, such as contraceptives and antibiotics, patients should be advised to take those drugs at least 1 hour before exenatide injection.
exenatide twice daily; pharmacokinetics; oral contraceptive
Extended-cycle oral contraceptives (OCs) are increasing in popularity in the United States. A new extended-cycle OC that contains the lowest doses of ethinyl estradiol (EE) and levonorgestrel (LNG) + continuous EE throughout the cycle is now available. It provides 84 days of a low-dose, combined active pill containing levonorgestrel 100 μg and ethinyl estradiol 20 μg. Instead of 7 days of placebo following the active pills, the regimen delivers 7 days of ethinyl estradiol 10 μg. Existing studies reveal a similar efficacy and adverse effect profile compared with other extended-regimen OCs. Specifically, the unscheduled bleeding profile is similar to other extended-cycle OCs and improves with the increase in the duration of use. Although lower daily doses of hormonal exposure have potential benefit, to our knowledge, there are no published studies indicating that this specific regimen offers a lower incidence of hormone-related side effects or adverse events. In summary, this new extended-cycle OC provides patients a low-dose, extended-regimen OC option without sacrificing efficacy or tolerability.
continuous regimen; ethinyl estradiol; extended cycle; oral contraceptive
This study was conducted to determine whether increased body mass index (BMI) affects oral contraceptive (OC) pharmacokinetics and suppression of hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian (HPO) axis activity.
Ovulatory reproductive-age women of normal (< 25 kg/m2; n = 10) and obese (> 30 kg/m2; n = 10) BMI received OCs for two cycles (prospective cohort). Subjects were admitted for two 48-h inpatient stays at the beginning and end of the hormone-free interval. Ethinyl estradiol (EE) and levonorgestrel (LNG) levels were evaluated during both inpatient stays. Gonadotropin pulsatility (FSH and LH) was measured during the second inpatient stay. Estradiol (E2) and progesterone (P) were measured daily during inpatient stays and twice per week in Cycle 2.
BMI was greater in the obese, compared to the normal BMI group [37.3 kg/m2 (SD 6.0) versus 21.9 kg/m2 (SD 1.6); p < 0.05]. The LNG half-life was significantly longer in the obese group (52.1 ± 29.4 h versus 25.6 ± 9.3 h, p < 0.05) which correlated with a lower maximum LNG concentration on Cycle 2, Day 1 [1.9 ng/mL (SD 0.5) versus 2.5 ng/mL (SD 0.7)] and a longer time to reach steady-state (10 versus 5 days), in obese women. There were no significant differences in volume of distribution between groups. LH pulse parameters did not differ statistically between groups but trended towards greater HPO activity in the obese group. Additionally, more obese (6/10 versus 3/10 normal BMI, p > 0.05) women exhibited E2 levels consistent with development of a dominant follicle, and P levels consistent with ovulation (2/10 versus 1/10) during Cycle 2.
Compared to women of normal BMI, obese women exhibit differences in OC pharmacokinetics that are associated with greater HPO activity.
Our objectives were to determine performance of coded hyperkalemia diagnosis at identifying 1) clinically-evident hyperkalemia and 2) serum potassium ≥ 6 mmol/liter.
This retrospective observational study included 8,722 patients with diabetes within an integrated healthcare system who newly-initiated an angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor, angiotensin receptor blocker, or spironolactone. The primary outcome was first hyperkalemia-associated event (hospitalization, emergency department visit or death within 24 hours of coded diagnosis and/or potassium ≥ 6 mmol/liter) during the first year of therapy. Medical records were reviewed.
Among a random sample of 99 patients not coded as having hyperkalemia, none had hyperkalemia upon record review. Among all 64 patients identified as having hyperkalemia, all had hospitalization or emergency department visit associated with coded diagnosis or elevated potassium. Of 55 with coded diagnosis, 42 (PPV 76%) had clinically-evident hyperkalemia; 32 (PPV 58%) had potassium ≥ 6. Of 9 identified using only potassium ≥ 6, 7 (PPV 78%) had clinically-evident hyperkalemia.
Nearly one-fourth of patients with coded diagnosis do not have clinically-evident hyperkalemia and nearly one-half do not have potassium ≥ 6. Because both false positives and negatives occur with coded diagnoses, medical record validation of hyperkalemia-associated outcomes is necessary.
Hyperkalemia; positive predictive value; sensitivity; specificity; ACEi; ARB
The contraceptive efficacy and tolerability of a new flexible extended regimen of ethinylestradiol (EE) 20 μg/drospirenone (DRSP) 3 mg to extend the menstrual cycle and enable management of intracyclic (breakthrough) bleeding (flexibleMIB) was investigated and the bleeding pattern compared with a conventional 28-day regimen and a fixed extended 124-day regimen.
This Phase III, 2-year, multicentre, open-label study randomly (4:1:1) allocated women (aged 18–35 years) to the following regimens: flexibleMIB (24–120 days' active hormonal intake with 4-day tablet-free intervals); conventional (24 days' active hormonal intake followed by a 4-day hormone-free interval); or fixed extended (120 days' uninterrupted active hormonal intake followed by a 4-day tablet-free interval). Primary outcomes included the number of bleeding/spotting days during Year 1 (all regimens) and the number of observed unintended pregnancies over 2 years (flexibleMIB only).
Results were analysed in 1067 women (full analysis set). The mean number of bleeding/spotting days was lower with the flexibleMIB vs the conventional regimen [41.0±29.1 (95% CI 38.8–43.3) vs 65.8±27.0 (95% CI 62.2–69.4) days, p<0.0001; treatment difference −24.8 (95% CI −29.2 to −20.3) days]. The corresponding value for the fixed extended regimen was 60.9±51.1 (95% CI 53.9–67.9) days. The Pearl Index for the flexibleMIB regimen was 0.64 (95% CI 0.28–1.26). All regimens had comparable tolerability profiles.
EE 20 μg/DRSP 3 mg administered as a flexible extended regimen with MIB is effective, well tolerated and is associated with statistically significantly fewer bleeding/spotting days and fewer withdrawal bleeding episodes vs EE/DRSP in a conventional 28-day regimen. The flexibleMIB also provided statistically significantly fewer spotting days vs EE/DRSP in a fixed extended 124-day regimen (post hoc evaluation). The flexibleMIB regimen allows women to extend their menstrual cycle and manage their intracyclic (breakthrough) bleeding.
Anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) are widely used in reproductive-age women. The AED carbamazepine (CBZ) induces the hepatic cytochrome p450 system accelerating hormone metabolism. We sought to assess the pharmacodynamic effects of CBZ on breakthrough bleeding and ovulation during OC use.
A double-blind, randomized, cross-over study of healthy women ages 18 to 35 years. Participants took an OC containing 20 mcgs ethinyl estradiol (EE) and 100 mcgs levonorgestrel (LNG) for four months. Concurrently, participants took CBZ 600 mgs or a matching placebo for two months each, administered in random order. During the second month of CBZ or placebo, we measured EE and LNG levels twelve times over 24 hours, ovarian follicular diameters with eight bi-weekly vaginal ultrasounds, weekly progesterone levels and bleeding using a diary.
We enrolled 25 women; 10 completed the study. Five discontinued due to reversible CBZ side effects. Mean area under the curve measurements were lower during CBZ use compared to placebo for EE (1778 versus 986 pg*h/ml, p<0.001) and LNG (24.8 vs. 13.8 pg*h/ml, p=0.04). Ovulation occurred in 5 of 10 CBZ cycles compared to 1 of 10 placebo cycles (p=0.06). Three or more days of breakthrough bleeding occurred during 8 of the 10 CBZ cycles compared to 2 of the 10 placebo cycles (p= 0.07).
A commonly used dose of CBZ decreased levels of contraceptive steroids, increased breakthrough bleeding and permitted ovulation during use of a low-dose OC. Women treated with CBZ are not adequately protected from pregnancy by low-dose OCs.
anti-epileptic drugs; contraception; oral contraceptives; carbamazepine
To determine whether bone mineral density (BMD) is lower in hormonal contraceptive users than that in an untreated, comparison group.
Observational, prospective cohort; duration: 24 months.
Adolescent clinics in a midwestern, metropolitan setting.
433 postmenarcheal girls, aged 12–18 years, on depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) [n=58], oral contraceptives (OC) [n=187], or untreated (n=188).
DMPA and OC containing 100 mcg levonorgestrel and 20 mcg ethinyl estradiol.
Main Outcome Measure
BMD measurements at spine and femoral neck were obtained with dual x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) at baseline and 6-month intervals.
Over 24 months, mean percent change in spine BMD was: DMPA −1.5%, OC +4.2%, and untreated +6.3%. Mean percent change in femoral neck BMD was: DMPA −5.2%, OC +3.0%, untreated +3.8%. Statistical significance was found between the DMPA group and other two groups (p<.001). In the DMPA group, mean percent change in spine BMD over the first 12 months was −1.4%; the rate of change slowed to −0.1% over the second 12 months. No bone density loss reached the level of osteopenia.
Adolescent girls receiving DMPA had significant loss in BMD compared with bone gain in the OC and untreated group. However, its clinical significance is mitigated by slowed loss after the first year of DMPA use and general maintenance of bone density values within the normal range.
adolescents; oral contraceptives; bone mineral density; depot medroxyprogesterone acetate