July 30, 2015
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Enjuvia

"Oct. 24, 2012 -- Women who take hormones within five years of menopause may have a slightly lower risk of Alzheimer's disease compared to women who don't ever take them, a new study shows.

The study, which is published in the journal"...

Enjuvia




CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY

Mechanism Of Action

Endogenous estrogens are largely responsible for the development and maintenance of the female reproductive system and secondary sexual characteristics. Although circulating estrogens exist in a dynamic equilibrium of metabolic interconversions, estradiol is the principal intracellular human estrogen and is substantially more potent than its metabolites, estrone and estriol, at the receptor level.

The primary source of estrogen in normally cycling adult women is the ovarian follicle, which secretes 70 to 500 mcg of estradiol daily, depending on the phase of the menstrual cycle. After menopause, most endogenous estrogen is produced by conversion of androstenedione, secreted by the adrenal cortex, to estrone in the peripheral tissues. Thus, estrone and the sulfate-conjugated form, estrone sulfate, are the most abundant circulating estrogens in postmenopausal women.

Estrogens act through binding to nuclear receptors in estrogen-responsive tissues. To date, two estrogen receptors have been identified. These vary in proportion from tissue to tissue.

Circulating estrogens modulate the pituitary secretion of the gonadotropins, luteinizing hormone (LH), and FSH, through a negative feedback mechanism. Estrogens act to reduce the elevated levels of these hormones in postmenopausal women.

Pharmacodynamics

There are no pharmacodynamic data for ENJUVIA.

Pharmacokinetics

Absorption

Synthetic conjugated estrogens, B are soluble in water and are well absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract after release from the drug formulation. ENJUVIA tablets release synthetic conjugated estrogens, B slowly over a period of several hours. Table 3 and Table 4 summarize the mean pharmacokinetic parameters for unconjugated (free) and conjugated (total) estrogens following single administration of two 0.625 mg tablets to 21 healthy postmenopausal women under fasting conditions. The effect of food on the bioavailability of synthetic conjugated estrogens, B following administration of ENJUVIA tablets has not been studied. However, the presence of food did not significantly affect the pharmacokinetics of a similar formulation of synthetic conjugated estrogens, B.

Table 3: Mean Pharmacokinetic Parameters of Unconjugated (Free) Estrogens Following a Single Dose of 2 x 0.625 mg ENJUVIA Tablets Under Fasting Conditions*

  Cmax (pg/mL) tmax (hr) t½ (hr) AUC0-48h (pg•hr/mL)
Baseline-corrected estrone (% CV) 75.87 (39) 9.29 (25) 23.46 (59) 1601.59 (41)
Equilin (% CV) 41.94 (49) 8.38 (27) 15.09 (55) 707.21 (46)
Cmax = peak plasma concentration; tmax = time peak concentration occurs; t½ = apparent terminal-phase disposition half-life; AUC0-48h = total area under the concentration-time curve from time zero to time of last quantifiable concentration (48h); * Δ8,9 Dehydroestrone (free) levels were below the assay limit of quantitation; CV= Coefficient of Variance

Table 4: Mean Pharmacokinetic Parameters of Conjugated (Total) Estrogens Following a Single Dose of 2 x 0.625 mg ENJUVIA Tablets Under Fasting Conditions

  Cmax (ng/mL) tmax (h) t½ (h) AUC0-48h (ng•h/mL)
Baseline-corrected estrone (% CV) 3.74 (29) 8.00 (27) 14.26 (26) 62.03 (34)
Equilin (% CV) 3.69 (44) 8.05 (36) 11.28 (28) 58.25 (53)
Δ8,9 Dehydroestrone (% CV) 0.74 (32) 7.55 (37) 14.14 (26) 12.93 (39)
Cmax = peak plasma concentration; tmax = time peak concentration occurs; t½ = apparent terminal-phase disposition half-life; AUC0-48h = total area under the concentration-time curve from time zero to time of last quantifiable concentration (48h); CV= Coefficient of Variance

Distribution

The distribution of exogenous estrogens is similar to that of endogenous estrogens. Estrogens are widely distributed in the body and are generally found in higher concentrations in the sex hormone target organs. Estrogens circulate in the blood largely bound to SHBG and albumin.

Metabolism

Exogenous estrogens are metabolized in the same manner as endogenous estrogens. Circulating estrogens exist in a dynamic equilibrium of metabolic interconversions. These transformations take place mainly in the liver. Estradiol is converted reversibly to estrone, and both can be converted to estriol, which is a major urinary metabolite. Estrogens also undergo enterohepatic recirculation via sulfate and glucuronide conjugation in the liver, biliary secretion of conjugates into the intestine, and hydrolysis in the intestine followed by reabsorption. In postmenopausal women, a significant portion of the circulating estrogens exist as sulfate conjugates, especially estrone sulfate, which serves as a circulating reservoir for the formation of more active estrogens.

Excretion

Estradiol, estrone, and estriol are excreted in the urine along with glucuronide and sulfate conjugates. The mean (SD) apparent terminal elimination half-life (t½) of conjugated estrone is 14 (± 6) hours and conjugated equilin is 11 (± 6) hours.

Clinical Studies

Effects On Vasomotor Symptoms

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose-ranging, multi-center clinical study was conducted to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of ENJUVIA tablets for the treatment of vasomotor symptoms in 281 naturally or surgically postmenopausal women aged 26 to 65 years who were experiencing a minimum of seven moderate to severe hot flushes per day or 50 per week at randomization. The majority (81%) of patients were Caucasian (n=228) and 17.4% were Black (n=49). Women were randomized to receive ENJUVIA tablets 0.3 mg, 0.625 mg, 1.25 mg, or placebo once daily for 12 weeks.

ENJUVIA (0.3 mg, 0.625 mg, and 1.25 mg tablets) was shown to be statistically better than placebo at weeks 4 and 12 for relief of both the frequency and severity of moderate to severe vasomotor symptoms (Table 5 and Table 6).

Table 5: Mean Number and Mean Change in Number of Moderate to Severe Hot Flushes Per Week, ITT Population With LOCF

  0.3 mg
n=66
0.625 mg
n=71
1.25 mg
n=69
Placebo
n=70
Baseline
  Mean (SD) 104.3 (57.7) 97.3 (82.1) 86.8 (42.1) 96.4 (58.2)
Week 4
  Mean (SD) 47.0 (52.9) 23.3 (26.9) 24.6 (47.0) 57.8 (47.5)
  Mean Change from Baseline (SE) -49.8 (5.2) -72.8 (5.0) -68.3 (5.1) -37.2 (5.0)
  p-value versus placebo 0.005 < 0.001 < 0.001 ---
Week 12
  Mean (SD) 30.7 (47.7) 12.2 (18.7) 12.4 (26.3) 47.5 (49.8)
  Mean Change from Baseline (SE) -66.3 (4.6) -84.6 (4.4) -82.6 (4.5) -48.3 (4.5)
  p-value versus placebo < 0.001 < 0.001 < 0.001 ---
ITT=Intent to treat; LOCF= Last Observation Carried Forward, SD= Standard Deviation; SE= Standard Error

Table 6: Mean Change in Severity of Moderate to Severe Hot Flushes Per Week, ITT Population with LOCF

  0.3 mg
n=66
0.625 mg
n=71
1.25 mg
n=69
Placebo
n=70
Baseline
  Mean (SD) 2.5 (0.3) 2.5 (0.3) 2.5 (0.3) 2.5 (0.3)
Week 4
  Mean (SD) 2.1 (0.8) 1.9 (1.0) 1.5 (1.1) 2.2 (0.8)
  Mean Change from Baseline (SE) -0.5 (0.1) -0.6 (0.1) -1.0 (0.1) -0.3 (0.1)
  p-value versus placebo 0.036 0.002 < 0.001 ---
Week 12
  Mean (SD) 1.5 (1.2) 1.1 (1.2) 1.0 (1.1) 1.9 (1.1)
  Mean Change from Baseline (SE) -1.0 (0.1) -1.4 (0.1) -1.5 (0.1) -0.6 (0.1)
  p-value versus placebo 0.023 < 0.001 < 0.001 ---
ITT=Intent to treat; LOCF= Last Observation Carried Forward, SD= Standard Deviation; SE= Standard Error

Effects On Vulvar And Vaginal Atrophy

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-center clinical study was conducted to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of ENJUVIA 0.3 mg tablets for the treatment of symptoms of vulvar and vaginal atrophy in 248 naturally or surgically postmenopausal women between 32 to 81 years of age (mean 58.6 years) who at baseline had ≤ 5% superficial cells on a vaginal smear, a vaginal pH > 5.0, and who identified their most bothersome moderate to severe symptom of vulvar and vaginal atrophy. The majority (82%) of the women were Caucasian (n=203), 11% were Hispanic (n=26), 4% were Black (n=9), and 3% were Asian (n=6). All patients were assessed for improvement in the mean change from baseline to Week 12 for three co-primary efficacy variables: most bothersome symptom of vulvar and vaginal atrophy (defined as the moderate-to-severe symptom that had been identified by the patient as most bothersome to her at baseline); percentage of vaginal superficial cells and percentage of vaginal parabasal cells; and vaginal pH.

In this study, a statistically significant mean change between baseline and Week 12 for the group treated with ENJUVIA 0.3 mg tablets compared to placebo was observed for the symptoms, vaginal dryness and pain with intercourse. See Table 7. ENJUVIA 0.3 mg tablets increased superficial cells by a mean of 17.1% as compared to 2.0% for placebo (statistically significant). A corresponding statistically significant mean reduction from baseline in parabasal cells (41.7% for ENJUVIA 0.3 mg tablets and 6.8% for placebo) was observed at Week 12. The mean reduction between baseline and Week 12 in the pH was 1.69 in the ENJUVIA 0.3 mg tablets group and 0.45 in the placebo group (statistically significant).

Table 7: Change from Baseline to Week 12 in the Severity of Vaginal Dryness and Pain with Intercourse, Symptoms That Were Identified by the Menopausal Woman as Her Most Bothersome Symptom of Vulvar and Vaginal Atrophy at Baseline

Most Bothersome Symptom at Baseline* ENJUVIA 0.3 mg Placebo
Vaginal Dryness
n 56 54
Baseline Severity 2.52 2.54
Mean Severity at Week 12 0.80 1.81
Mean Change in Severity from Baseline (s.d.) -1.71 (0.85) -0.72 (0.66)
p-value versus placebo < 0.001
Pain With Intercourse
n 35 40
Baseline Severity 2.74 2.70
Mean Severity at Week 12 0.94 1.95
Mean Change in Severity from Baseline (s.d.) -1.80 (1.02) -0.75 (0.95)
p-value versus placebo < 0.001
*Treatment differences assessed by ANCOVA or rank ANCOVA (% cell data) with baseline as covariate for the modified intent-to-treat population, last-observation-carried-forward data set.

Women’s Health Initiative Studies

The WHI enrolled approximately 27,000 predominantly healthy postmenopausal women in two substudies to assess the risks and benefits of either the use of daily oral CE (0.625 mg)-alone or in combination with MPA (2.5 mg) compared to placebo in the prevention of certain chronic diseases. The primary endpoint was the incidence of CHD (defined as nonfatal MI, silent MI, and CHD death), with invasive breast cancer as the primary adverse outcome. A “global index” included the earliest occurrence of CHD, invasive breast cancer, stroke, PE, endometrial cancer (only in the CE plus MPA substudy), colorectal cancer, hip fracture, or death due to other causes. These substudies did not evaluate the effects of CE-alone or CE plus MPA on menopausal symptoms.

WHI Estrogen-Alone Substudy

The WHI estrogen-alone substudy was stopped early because an increased risk of stroke was observed, and it was deemed that no further information would be obtained regarding the risks and benefits of estrogen alone in predetermined primary endpoints. Results of the estrogen-alone substudy, which included 10,739 women (average 63 years of age, range 50 to 79; 75.3 percent White, 15.1 percent Black, 6.1 percent Hispanic, 3.6 percent Other), after an average follow-up of 7.1 years are presented in Table 8.

Table 8: Relative and Absolute Risk Seen in the Estrogen-Alone Substudy of WHIa

Event Relative Risk CE vs. Placebo (95% nCIb) CE
n = 5,310
Placebo
n = 5,429
Absolute Risk per 10,000 Women-Years
CHD eventsc 0.95 (0.78-1.16) 54 57
  Nonfatal MI 0.91 (0.73-1.14) 40 43
  CHD death 1.01 (0.71-1.43) 16 16
All strokesc 1.33 (1.05-1.68) 45 33
   Ischemic strokec 1.55 (1.19-2.01) 38 25
Deep vein thrombosisc,d 1.47 (1.06-2.06) 23 15
Pulmonary embolismc 1.37 (0.90-2.07) 14 10
Invasive breast cancerc 0.80 (0.62-1.04) 28 34
Colorectal cancere 1.08 (0.75-1.55) 17 16
Hip fracturec 0.65 (0.45-0.94) 12 19
Vertebral fracturesc,d 0.64 (0.44-0.93) 11 18
Lower arm/wrist fracturesc,d 0.58 (0.47-0.72) 35 59
Total fracturesc,d 0.71 (0.64-0.80) 144 197
Death due to other causese,f 1.08 (0.88-1.32) 53 50
Overall mortalityc,d 1.04 (0.88-1.22) 79 75
Global index g 1.02 (0.91-1.13) 206 201
aAdapted from numerous WHI publications. WHI publications can be viewed at www.nhlbi.nih.gov/whi.
bNominal confidence intervals unadjusted for multiple looks and multiple comparisons.
cResults are based on centrally adjudicated data for an average follow-up of 7.1 years.
dNot included in “global index”.
eResults are based on an average follow-up of 6.8 years.
fAll deaths, except from breast or colorectal cancer, definite or probable CHD, PE, or cerebrovascular disease.
gA subset of the events was combined in a “global index”, defined as the earliest occurrence of CHD events, invasive breast cancer, stroke, PE, colorectal cancer, hip fracture, or death due to other causes.

For those outcomes included in the WHI “global index” that reached statistical significance, the absolute excess risk per 10,000 women-years in the group treated with CE-alone was 12 more strokes, while the absolute risk reduction per 10,000 women-years was 7 fewer hip fractures.9 The absolute excess risk of events included in the “global index” was a nonsignificant 5 events per 10,000 women-years. There was no difference between the groups in terms of all-cause mortality.

No overall difference for primary CHD events (nonfatal MI, silent MI, and CHD death) and invasive breast cancer incidence in women receiving CE-alone compared with placebo was reported in final centrally adjudicated results from the estrogen-alone substudy, after an average follow up of 7.1 years (see Table 8).

Centrally adjudicated results for stroke events from the estrogen-alone substudy, after an average follow-up of 7.1 years, reported no significant difference in distribution of stroke subtype or severity, including fatal strokes, in women receiving CE-alone compared to placebo. Estrogen alone increased the risk for ischemic stroke, and this excess risk was present in all subgroups of women examined10 (see Table 8).

Timing of the initiation of estrogen-alone therapy relative to the start of menopause may affect the overall risk benefit profile. The WHI estrogen-alone substudy stratified by age showed in women 50 to 59 years of age, a nonsignificant trend toward reduced risk for CHD (hazard ratio [HR] 0.63 [95 percent CI, 0.36-1.09]) and overall mortality (HR 0.71 [95 percent CI, 0.46-1.11]).

WHI Estrogen Plus Progestin Substudy

The WHI estrogen plus progestin substudy was stopped early. According to the predefined stopping rule, after an average follow-up of 5.6 years of treatment, the increased risk of invasive breast cancer and cardiovascular events exceeded the specified benefits included in the “global index”. The absolute excess risk of events included in the “global index” was 19 per 10,000 women-years.

For those outcomes included in the WHI “global index” that reached statistical significance after 5.6 years of follow-up, the absolute excess risks per 10,000 women-years in the group treated with CE plus MPA were 7 more CHD events, 8 more strokes, 10 more PEs, and 8 more invasive breast cancers, while the absolute risk reductions per 10,000 women-years were 6 fewer colorectal cancers and 5 fewer hip fractures.

Results of the CE plus MPA substudy, which included 16,608 women (average 63 years of age, range 50 to 79; 83.9 percent White, 6.8 percent Black, 5.4 percent Hispanic, 3.9 percent Other) are presented in Table 9. These results reflect centrally adjudicated data after an average follow-up of 5.6 years.

Table 9: Relative and Absolute Risk Seen in the Estrogen Plus Progestin Substudy of WHI at an Average of 5.6 Yearsa,b

Event Relative Risk CE/MPA vs. Placebo (95% nCIc) CE/MPA
n = 8,506
Placebo
n = 8,102
Absolute Risk per 10,000 Women-Years
CHD events 1.23 (0.99-1.53) 41 34
Non-fatal MI 1.28 (1.00-1.63) 31 25
CHD death 1.10 (0.70-1.75) 8 8
All strokes 1.31 (1.03-1.68) 33 25
Ischemic stroke 1.44 (1.09-1.90) 26 18
Deep vein thrombosisd 1.95 (1.43-2.67) 26 13
Pulmonary embolism 2.13 (1.45-3.11) 18 8
Invasive breast cancere 1.24 (1.01-1.54) 41 33
Colorectal cancer 0.61 (0.42-0.87) 10 16
Endometrial cancerd 0.81 (0.48-1.36) 6 7
Cervical cancerd 1.44 (0.47-4.42) 2 1
Hip fracture 0.67 (0.47-0.96) 11 16
Vertebral fracturesd 0.65 (0.46-0.92) 11 17
Lower arm/wrist fracturesd 0.71 (0.59-0.85) 44 62
Total fracturesd 0.76 (0.69-0.83) 152 199
Overall Mortalityf 1.00 (0.83-1.19 52 52
Global Indexg 1.13 (1.02-1.25) 184 165
aAdapted from numerous WHI publications. WHI publications can be viewed at www.nhlbi.nih.gov/whi.
bResults are based on centrally adjudicated data.
cNominal confidence intervals unadjusted for multiple looks and multiple comparisons.
dNot included in “global index”.
eIncludes metastatic and non-metastatic breast cancer, with the exception of in situ breast cancer.
fAll deaths, except from breast or colorectal cancer, definite or probable CHD, PE, or cerebrovascular disease.
gA subset of the events was combined in a “global index”, defined as the earliest occurrence of CHD events, invasive breast cancer, stroke, pulmonary embolism, colorectal cancer, hip fracture, or death due to other causes.

Timing of the initiation of estrogen therapy relative to the start of menopause may affect the overall risk benefit profile. The WHI estrogen plus progestin substudy stratified by age showed in women 50 to 59 years of age, a non-significant trend toward reduced risk for overall mortality (HR 0.69 [95 percent CI, 0.44-1.07]).

Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study

The WHIMS estrogen-alone ancillary study of WHI enrolled 2,947 predominantly healthy postmenopausal women 65 to 79 years of age (45 percent were 65 to 69 years of age; 36 percent were 70 to 74 years of age; and 19 percent were 75 years of age and older) to evaluate the effects of daily CE (0.625 mg)-alone on the incidence of probable dementia (primary outcome) compared with placebo.

After an average follow-up of 5.2 years, the relative risk of probable dementia for CE-alone versus placebo was 1.49 (95 percent CI, 0.83-2.66). The absolute risk of probable dementia for CE-alone versus placebo was 37 versus 25 cases per 10,000 woman-years. Probable dementia as defined in this study included Alzheimer's disease (AD), vascular dementia (VaD), and mixed types (having features of both AD and VaD). The most common classification of probable dementia in both the treatment group and the placebo group was AD. Since the ancillary study was conducted in women 65 to 79 years of age, it is unknown whether these findings apply to younger postmenopausal women [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS, and Use In Specific Populations].

The WHIMS estrogen plus progestin ancillary study enrolled 4,532 predominantly healthy postmenopausal women 65 years of age and older (47 percent were 65 to 69 years of age, 35 percent were 70 to 74 years of age, and 18 percent were 75 years of age and older) to evaluate the effects of daily CE (0.625 mg) plus MPA (2.5 mg) on the incidence of probable dementia (primary outcome) compared with placebo.

After an average follow-up of 4 years, the relative risk of probable dementia for CE plus MPA versus placebo was 2.05 (95 percent CI, 1.21-3.48). The absolute risk of probable dementia for CE plus MPA versus placebo was 45 versus 22 per 10,000 woman-years. Probable dementia as defined in this study included AD, VaD, and mixed type (having features of both AD and VaD). The most common classification of probable dementia in the treatment group and the placebo group was AD. Since the ancillary study was conducted in women 65 to79 years of age, it is unknown whether these findings apply to younger postmenopausal women [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS, and Use in Specific Populations].

When data from the two populations were pooled as planned in the WHIMS protocol, the reported overall relative risk for probable dementia was 1.76 (95 percent CI, 1.19-2.60). Differences between groups became apparent in the first year of treatment. It is unknown whether these findings apply to younger postmenopausal women [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS, and Use in Specific Populations].

REFERENCES

8. Shumaker SA, et al. Conjugated Equine Estrogens and Incidence of Probable Dementia and Mild Cognitive Impairment in Postmenopausal Women. JAMA. 2004;291:29472958.

9. Jackson RD, et al. Effects of Conjugated Equine Estrogen on Risk of Fractures and BMD in Postmenopausal Women With Hysterectomy: Results From the Women's Health Initiative Randomized Trial. J Bone Miner Res. 2006;21:817-828.

10. Hendrix SL, et al. Effects of Conjugated Equine Estrogen on Stroke in the Women's Health Initiative. Circulation. 2006;113:2425-2434.

Last reviewed on RxList: 7/14/2015
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

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