JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Drug-drug and food-drug pharmacokinetic interactions with new insulinotropic agents repaglinide and nateglinide

André J Scheen
Clinical Pharmacokinetics 2007, 46 (2): 93-108
17253883
This review describes the current knowledge on drug-drug and food-drug interactions with repaglinide and nateglinide. These two meglitinide derivatives, commonly called glinides, have been developed for improving insulin secretion of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. They are increasingly used either in monotherapy or in combination with other oral antihyperglycaemic agents for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Compared with sulfonylureas, glinides have been shown to (i) provide a better control of postprandial hyperglycaemia, (ii) overcome some adverse effects, such as hypoglycaemia, and (iii) have a more favourable safety profile, especially in patients with renal failure. The meal-related timing of administration of glinides and the potential influence of food and meal composition on their bioavailability may be important. In addition, some food components (e.g. grapefruit juice) may cause pharmacokinetic interactions. Because glinides are metabolised via cytochrome P450 (CYP) 3A4 isoenzyme, they are indeed exposed to pharmacokinetic interactions. In addition to CYP3A4, repaglinide is metabolised via CYP2C8, while nateglinide metabolism also involves CYP2C9. Furthermore, both compounds and their metabolites may undergo specialised transport/uptake in the intestine, another source of pharmacokinetic interactions. Clinically relevant drug-drug interactions are those that occur when glinides are administered together with other glucose-lowering agents or compounds widely coadministered to diabetic patients (e.g. lipid-lowering agents), with drugs that are known to induce (risk of lower glinide plasma levels and thus of deterioration of glucose control) or inhibit (risk of higher glinide plasma levels leading to hypoglycaemia) CYP isoenzymes concerned in their metabolism, or with drugs that have a narrow efficacy : toxicity ratio. Pharmacokinetic interactions reported in the literature appear to be more frequent and more important with repaglinide than with nateglinide. Rifampicin (rifampin) reduced repaglinide area under the plasma concentration-time curve (AUC) by 32-85% while it reduced nateglinide AUC by almost 25%. Reported increases in AUCs with coadministration of drugs inhibiting CYP isoenzymes never exceeded 80% for repaglinide (except with ciclosporin and with gemfibrozil) and 50% for nateglinide. Ciclosporin more than doubled repaglinide AUC (+144%), a finding that should raise caution when using these two drugs in combination. The most impressive pharmacokinetic interaction was reported with combined administration of gemfibrozil (a strong CYP2C8 inhibitor) and repaglinide (8-fold increase in repaglinide AUC). Although no studies have been performed in patients with type 2 diabetes, the latter combination should be avoided in clinical practice.

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