Decreases in estrogen levels after oophorectomy or menopause lead to increases in bone resorption and accelerated bone loss. Bone is initially lost rapidly because the compensatory increase in bone formation is inadequate to offset resorptive losses. In addition to loss of estrogen, this imbalance between resorption and formation may be due to age-related impairment of osteoblasts or their precursors. In some women, these changes will eventually lead to decreased bone mass, osteoporosis and increased risk for fractures, particularly of the spine, hip and wrist. Vertebral fractures are the most common type of osteoporotic fracture in postmenopausal women.
In both the osteoporosis treatment and prevention trials, raloxifene HCl therapy resulted in consistent, statistically significant suppression of bone resorption and bone formation, as reflected by changes in serum and urine markers of bone turnover (e.g., bone-specific alkaline phosphatase, osteocalcin and collagen breakdown products). The suppression of bone turnover markers was evident by 3 months and persisted throughout the 36-month and 24-month observation periods.
In a 31-week, open-label, radiocalcium kinetics study, 33 early postmenopausal women were randomized to treatment with once-daily raloxifene HCl 60 mg, cyclic estrogen/progestin (0.625 mg conjugated estrogens daily with 5 mg medroxyprogesterone acetate daily for the first 2 weeks of each month [hormone therapy]), or no treatment. Treatment with either raloxifene HCl or hormone therapy was associated with reduced bone resorption and a positive shift in calcium balance (-82 mg Ca/day and +60 mg Ca/day, respectively, for raloxifene HCl and -162 mg Ca/day and +91 mg Ca/day, respectively, for hormone therapy).
There were small decreases in serum total calcium, inorganic phosphate, total protein and albumin, which were generally of lesser magnitude than decreases observed during estrogen or hormone therapy. Platelet count was also decreased slightly and was not different from estrogen therapy.
The disposition of raloxifene has been evaluated in more than 3000 postmenopausal women in selected raloxifene osteoporosis treatment and prevention clinical trials, using a population approach. Pharmacokinetic data also were obtained in conventional pharmacology studies in 292 postmenopausal women. Raloxifene exhibits high within-subject variability (approximately 30% coefficient of variation) of most pharmacokinetic parameters. Table 3 summarizes the pharmacokinetic parameters of raloxifene.
Absorption — Raloxifene is absorbed rapidly after oral administration. Approximately 60% of an oral dose is absorbed, but presystemic glucuronide conjugation is extensive. Absolute bioavailability of raloxifene is 2%. The time to reach average maximum plasma concentration and bioavailability are functions of systemic interconversion and enterohepatic cycling of raloxifene and its glucuronide metabolites.
Administration of raloxifene HCl with a standardized, high-fat meal increases the absorption of raloxifene (C max 28% and AUC 16%), but does not lead to clinically meaningful changes in systemic exposure. Raloxifene HCl can be administered without regard to meals.
Distribution — Following oral administration of single doses ranging from 30 to 150 mg of raloxifene HCl, the apparent volume of distribution is 2348 L/kg and is not dose dependent.
Raloxifene and the monoglucuronide conjugates are highly (95%) bound to plasma proteins. Raloxifene binds to both albumin and α1-acid glycoprotein, but not to sex-steroid binding globulin.
Metabolism — Biotransformation and disposition of raloxifene in humans have been determined following oral administration of 14 C-labeled raloxifene. Raloxifene undergoes extensive first-pass metabolism to the glucuronide conjugates: raloxifene-4′-glucuronide, raloxifene-6-glucuronide and raloxifene-6, 4′-diglucuronide. No other metabolites have been detected, providing strong evidence that raloxifene is not metabolized by cytochrome P450 pathways. Unconjugated raloxifene comprises less than 1% of the total radiolabeled material in plasma. The terminal log-linear portions of the plasma concentration curves for raloxifene and the glucuronides are generally parallel. This is consistent with interconversion of raloxifene and the glucuronide metabolites.
Following intravenous administration, raloxifene is cleared at a rate approximating hepatic blood flow. Apparent oral clearance is 44.1 L/kg•hr. Raloxifene and its glucuronide conjugates are interconverted by reversible systemic metabolism and enterohepatic cycling, thereby prolonging its plasma elimination half-life to 27.7 hours after oral dosing.
Results from single oral doses of raloxifene predict multiple-dose pharmacokinetics. Following chronic dosing, clearance ranges from 40 to 60 L/kg•hr. Increasing doses of raloxifene HCl (ranging from 30 to 150 mg) result in slightly less than a proportional increase in the area under the plasma time concentration curve (AUC).
Excretion — Raloxifene is primarily excreted in feces and less than 0.2% is excreted unchanged in urine. Less than 6% of the raloxifene dose is eliminated in urine as glucuronide conjugates.
|Table 3: Summary of Raloxifene Pharmacokinetic Parameters in the Healthy Postmenopausal Woman|
|C max a,b (ng/mL)/ (mg/kg)||t 1/2 (hr) a||AUC 0-∞ a,b (ng•hr/mL)/ (mg/kg)||CL/F a (L/kg•hr)|| |
V/F a (L/kg)
CV a (%)
|52||10.7 to 273 c||44||46||52|
CV a (%)
|37||15.8 to 86.6 c||36||41||56|
|a Abbreviations: C max = maximum plasma concentration, t 1/2 = half-life, AUC = area under the curve, CL = clearance, V = volume of distribution, F = bioavailability, CV = coefficient of variation.|
|b Data normalized for dose in mg and body weight in kg.|
|c Range of observed half-life.|
Pediatric — The pharmacokinetics of raloxifene has not been evaluated in a pediatric population [see Use in Specific Populations (8.4)] .
Geriatric — No differences in raloxifene pharmacokinetics were detected with regard to age (range 42 to 84 years) [see Use in Specific Populations (8.5)] .
Gender — Total extent of exposure and oral clearance, normalized for lean body weight, are not significantly different between age-matched female and male volunteers.
Race — Pharmacokinetic differences due to race have been studied in 1712 women, including 97.5% White, 1% Asian, 0.7% Hispanic and 0.5% Black in the osteoporosis treatment trial and in 1053 women, including 93.5% White, 4.3% Hispanic, 1.2% Asian and 0.5% Black in the osteoporosis prevention trials. There were no discernible differences in raloxifene plasma concentrations among these groups; however, the influence of race cannot be conclusively determined.
Renal Impairment — In the osteoporosis treatment and prevention trials, raloxifene concentrations in women with mild renal impairment are similar to women with normal creatinine clearance. When a single dose of 120 mg raloxifene HCl was administered to 10 renally impaired males [7 moderate impairment (CrCl = 31 to 50 mL/min); 3 severe impairment (CrCl ≤30 mL/min)] and to 10 healthy males (CrCl >80 mL/min), plasma raloxifene concentrations were 122% (AUC 0-∞ ) higher in renally impaired patients than those of healthy volunteers. Raloxifene should be used with caution in patients with moderate or severe renal impairment [see Warnings and Precautions (5.8) and Use in Specific Populations (8.6)] .
Hepatic Impairment — The disposition of raloxifene was compared in 9 patients with mild (Child-Pugh Class A) hepatic impairment (total bilirubin ranging from 0.6 to 2 mg/dL) to 8 subjects with normal hepatic function following a single dose of 60 mg raloxifene HCl. Apparent clearance of raloxifene was reduced 56% and the half-life of raloxifene was not altered in patients with mild hepatic impairment. Plasma raloxifene concentrations were approximately 150% higher than those in healthy volunteers and correlated with total bilirubin concentrations. The pharmacokinetics of raloxifene has not been studied in patients with moderate or severe hepatic impairment. Raloxifene should be used with caution in patients with hepatic impairment [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5) and Use in Specific Populations (8.6)] .
Cholestyramine — Cholestyramine, an anion exchange resin, causes a 60% reduction in the absorption and enterohepatic cycling of raloxifene after a single dose. Although not specifically studied, it is anticipated that other anion exchange resins would have a similar effect [see Drug Interactions (7.1)] .
Warfarin — In vitro , raloxifene did not interact with the binding of warfarin. The concomitant administration of raloxifene HCl and warfarin, a coumarin derivative, has been assessed in a single-dose study. In this study, raloxifene had no effect on the pharmacokinetics of warfarin. However, a 10% decrease in prothrombin time was observed in the single-dose study. In the osteoporosis treatment trial, there were no clinically relevant effects of warfarin co-administration on plasma concentrations of raloxifene [see Drug Interactions (7.2)] .
Other Highly Protein-Bound Drugs — In the osteoporosis treatment trial, there were no clinically relevant effects of co-administration of other highly protein-bound drugs (e.g., gemfibrozil) on plasma concentrations of raloxifene. In vitro , raloxifene did not interact with the binding of phenytoin, tamoxifen, or warfarin ( see above) [see Drug Interactions (7.3)] .
Ampicillin and Amoxicillin — Peak concentrations of raloxifene and the overall extent of absorption are reduced 28% and 14%, respectively, with co-administration of ampicillin. These reductions are consistent with decreased enterohepatic cycling associated with antibiotic reduction of enteric bacteria. However, the systemic exposure and the elimination rate of raloxifene were not affected. In the osteoporosis treatment trial, co-administration of amoxicillin had no discernible differences in plasma raloxifene concentrations [see Drug Interactions (7.5)] .
Antacids — Concomitant administration of calcium carbonate or aluminum and magnesium hydroxide-containing antacids does not affect the systemic exposure of raloxifene [see Drug Interactions (7.5)] .
Corticosteroids — The chronic administration of raloxifene in postmenopausal women has no effect on the pharmacokinetics of methylprednisolone given as a single oral dose [see Drug Interactions (7.5)] .
Digoxin — Raloxifene has no effect on the pharmacokinetics of digoxin [see Drug Interactions (7.5)] .
Cyclosporine — Concomitant administration of raloxifene HCl with cyclosporine has not been studied.
Lipid-Lowering Agents — Concomitant administration of raloxifene HCl with lipid-lowering agents has not been studied.
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