Fulvestrant (Page 4 of 7)

8.6 Hepatic Impairment

Fulvestrant is metabolized primarily in the liver.

The pharmacokinetics of fulvestrant were evaluated after a single dose of 100 mg in subjects with mild and moderate hepatic impairment and normal hepatic function (n=7 subjects/group), using a shorter-acting intramuscular injection formulation. Subjects with mild hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh class A) had comparable mean AUC and clearance values to those with normal hepatic function. In subjects with moderate hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh class B), the average AUC of fulvestrant increased by 70% compared to patients with normal hepatic function. AUC was positively correlated with total bilirubin concentration (p=0.012). Fulvestrant has not been studied in patients with severe hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh class C).

A dose of fulvestrant 250 mg is recommended in patients with moderate hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh class B) [see Dosage and Administration (2.2) and Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

8.7 Renal Impairment

Negligible amounts of fulvestrant are eliminated in urine; therefore, a study in patients with renal impairment was not conducted. In the advanced breast cancer trials, fulvestrant concentrations in women with estimated creatinine clearance as low as 30 mL/min were similar to women with normal creatinine.


Human experience of overdose with fulvestrant is limited. There are isolated reports of overdose with fulvestrant in humans. No adverse reactions were seen in healthy male and female volunteers who received intravenous fulvestrant, which resulted in peak plasma concentrations at the end of the infusion, that were approximately 10 to 15 times those seen after intramuscular injection. The potential toxicity of fulvestrant at these or higher concentrations in cancer patients who may have additional comorbidities is unknown. There is no specific treatment in the event of fulvestrant overdose, and symptoms of overdose are not established. In the event of an overdose, healthcare practitioners should follow general supportive measures and should treat symptomatically.


Fulvestrant injection for intramuscular administration is an estrogen receptor antagonist. The chemical name is 7-alpha-[9-(4,4,5,5,5-penta fluoropentylsulphinyl) nonyl]estra-1,3,5-(10)- triene-3,17-beta-diol. The molecular formula is C32 H47 F5 O3 S and its structural formula is:

(click image for full-size original)

Fulvestrant is a white powder with a molecular weight of 606.77. The solution for injection is a sterile, clear, colorless to yellow, viscous liquid.

Each injection contains as inactive ingredients: 12% v/v alcohol, USP, 10% w/v benzyl alcohol, NF, and 15% w/v benzyl benzoate, USP, as co-solvents, and made up to 100% w/v with castor oil, USP as a co-solvent and release rate modifier.


12.1 Mechanism of Action

Many breast cancers have estrogen receptors (ER) and the growth of these tumors can be stimulated by estrogen. Fulvestrant is an estrogen receptor antagonist that binds to the estrogen receptor in a competitive manner with affinity comparable to that of estradiol and downregulates the ER protein in human breast cancer cells.

In vitro studies demonstrated that fulvestrant is a reversible inhibitor of the growth of tamoxifen-resistant, as well as estrogen-sensitive human breast cancer (MCF-7) cell lines. In in vivo tumor studies, fulvestrant delayed the establishment of tumors from xenografts of human breast cancer MCF-7 cells in nude mice. Fulvestrant inhibited the growth of established MCF-7 xenografts and of tamoxifen-resistant breast tumor xenografts.

Fulvestrant showed no agonist-type effects in in vivo uterotrophic assays in immature or ovariectomized mice and rats. In in vivo studies in immature rats and ovariectomized monkeys, fulvestrant blocked the uterotrophic action of estradiol. In postmenopausal women, the absence of changes in plasma concentrations of FSH and LH in response to fulvestrant treatment (250 mg monthly) suggests no peripheral steroidal effects.

12.2 Pharmacodynamics

In a clinical study in postmenopausal women with primary breast cancer treated with single doses of fulvestrant 15 to 22 days prior to surgery, there was evidence of increasing down-regulation of ER with increasing dose. This was associated with a dose-related decrease in the expression of the progesterone receptor, an estrogen-regulated protein. These effects on the ER pathway were also associated with a decrease in Ki67 labeling index, a marker of cell proliferation.

12.3 Pharmacokinetics


The single dose and multiple dose PK parameters for the 500 mg dosing regimen with an additional dose (AD) at Day 15 are reported in Table 11. The additional dose of fulvestrant given two weeks after the initial dose allows for steady state concentrations to be reached within the first month of dosing.

Table 11: Summary of Fulvestrant Pharmacokinetic Parameters [gMean (CV%)] in Postmenopausal Advanced Breast Cancer Patients after Intramuscular Administration 500 mg + AD Dosing Regimen
Cmax (ng/mL) Cmin (ng/mL) AUC (ng.hr/mL)
Additional 500 mg dose given on Day 15
Month 3

500 mg + AD *

Single dose

25.1 (35.3)

16.3 (25.9)

11,400 (33.4)

Multiple dose steady state

28 (27.9)

12.2 (21.7)

13,100 (23.4)


The apparent volume of distribution at steady state is approximately 3 to 5 L/kg. This suggests that distribution is largely extravascular. Fulvestrant is highly (99%) bound to plasma proteins; VLDL, LDL, and HDL lipoprotein fractions appear to be the major binding components. The role of sex hormone-binding globulin, if any, could not be determined.


Biotransformation and disposition of fulvestrant in humans have been determined following intramuscular and intravenous administration of 14 C-labeled fulvestrant. Metabolism of fulvestrant appears to involve combinations of a number of possible biotransformation pathways analogous to those of endogenous steroids, including oxidation, aromatic hydroxylation, conjugation with glucuronic acid and/or sulphate at the 2, 3, and 17 positions of the steroid nucleus, and oxidation of the side chain sulphoxide. Identified metabolites are either less active or exhibit similar activity to fulvestrant in antiestrogen models.

Studies using human liver preparations and recombinant human enzymes indicate that cytochrome P-450 3A4 (CYP 3A4) is the only P-450 isoenzyme involved in the oxidation of fulvestrant; however, the relative contribution of P-450 and non-P-450 routes in vivo is unknown.


Fulvestrant was rapidly cleared by the hepatobiliary route with excretion primarily via the feces (approximately 90%). Renal elimination was negligible (less than 1%). After an intramuscular injection of 250 mg, the clearance (Mean ± SD) was 690 ± 226 mL/min with an apparent half-life about 40 days.

Special Populations:


In patients with breast cancer, there was no difference in fulvestrant pharmacokinetic profile related to age (range 33 to 89 years).


Following administration of a single intravenous dose, there were no pharmacokinetic differences between men and women or between premenopausal and postmenopausal women. Similarly, there were no differences between men and postmenopausal women after intramuscular administration.


In the advanced breast cancer treatment trials, the potential for pharmacokinetic differences due to race have been evaluated in 294 women including 87.4% Caucasian, 7.8% Black, and 4.4% Hispanic. No differences in fulvestrant plasma pharmacokinetics were observed among these groups. In a separate trial, pharmacokinetic data from postmenopausal ethnic Japanese women were similar to those obtained in non-Japanese patients.

Drug-Drug Interactions:

There are no known drug-drug interactions. Fulvestrant does not significantly inhibit any of the major CYP isoenzymes, including CYP 1A2, 2C9, 2C19, 2D6, and 3A4 in vitro , and studies of co-administration of fulvestrant with midazolam indicate that therapeutic doses of fulvestrant have no inhibitory effects on CYP 3A4 or alter blood levels of drug metabolized by that enzyme. Although fulvestrant is partly metabolized by CYP 3A4, a clinical study with rifampin, an inducer of CYP 3A4, showed no effect on the pharmacokinetics of fulvestrant. Also, results from a healthy volunteer study with ketoconazole, a potent inhibitor of CYP 3A4, indicated that ketoconazole had no effect on the pharmacokinetics of fulvestrant and dosage adjustment is not necessary in patients co-prescribed CYP 3A4 inhibitors or inducers [see Drug Interactions (7)]. Data from a clinical trial in patients with breast cancer showed that there was no clinically relevant drug interaction when fulvestrant is co-administered with palbociclib, abemaciclib, or ribociclib.

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