JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Intramuscular testosterone undecanoate: pharmacokinetic aspects of a novel testosterone formulation during long-term treatment of men with hypogonadism

M Schubert, T Minnemann, D Hübler, D Rouskova, A Christoph, M Oettel, M Ernst, U Mellinger, W Krone, F Jockenhövel
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 2004, 89 (11): 5429-34
15531493
In an open-label, randomized, prospective trial, we investigated pharmacokinetics and several efficacy and safety parameters of a novel, long-acting testosterone (T) undecanoate (TU) formulation in 40 hypogonadal men (serum testosterone concentrations < 5 nmol/liter). For the first 30 wk (comparative study), the patients were randomly assigned to receive either 10 x 250 mg T enanthate (TE) im every 3 wk (n = 20) or 3 x 1000 mg TU im every 6 wk (loading dose) followed by 1 x 1000 mg after an additional 9 wk (n = 20). In a follow-up study, observation continued in those patients who completed the comparative part and opted for TU treatment (8 x 1000 mg TU every 12 wk in former TU patients and 2 x 1000 mg TU every 8 wk plus 6 x 1000 mg every 12 wk in former TE patients) for an additional 20-21 months. Here we report only the pharmacokinetic aspects of the new TU formulation for the first approximately 2.5 yr of treatment. At baseline, serum T concentrations did not significantly differ between the two study groups. In the TE group, mean trough levels of serum T were always less than 10 nmol/liter before the next injection, whereas in the TU group, mean trough levels of serum T were 14.1 +/- 4.5 nmol/liter after the first two doses (6-wk intervals) and 16.3 +/- 5.7 nmol/liter after the 9-wk interval at wk 30. The mean serum levels of dihydrotestosterone and estradiol also increased in parallel to the serum T pattern and remained within the normal range. In the follow-up study, the former TU patients (n = 20) received eight TU injections at 12-wk intervals, and the TE patients (n = 16) switched to TU and initially received two TU injections at 8-wk intervals (loading) and continued with six TU injections at 12-wk intervals (maintenance). This regimen resulted in stable mean serum trough levels of T (ranging from 14.9 +/- 5.2 to 16.5 +/- 8.0 nmol/liter) and estradiol (ranging from 98.5 +/- 45.2 to 80.4 +/- 14.4 pmol/liter). The present study has shown that 1000 mg TU injected into male patients with hypogonadism at 12-wk intervals is well tolerated and leads to T levels within normal ranges, using four instead of 17 or more TE injections per year. An initial loading dose of either 3 x 1000 mg TU every 6 wk at the beginning of hormone substitution or 2 x 1000 mg TU every 8 wk after switching from the short-acting TE to TU were found to be a adequate dosing regimens for starting of treatment with the long-acting TU preparation.

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