Recommended Topic Related To:

Safyral

"Oct. 18, 2012 -- While the use of long-acting intrauterine devices (IUDs) is increasing, 1 in 9 women at risk for unintended pregnancies is not using any birth control, according to a new government report.

Researchers from the Natio"...

Safyral

Safyral

CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY

Mechanism of Action

COCs lower the risk of becoming pregnant primarily by suppressing ovulation. Other possible mechanisms may include cervical mucus changes that inhibit sperm penetration and endometrial changes that reduce the likelihood of implantation.

Pharmacodynamics

Drospirenone is a spironolactone analogue with antimineralocorticoid activity. The estrogen in Safyral is ethinyl estradiol (EE).

Contraception

No specific pharmacodynamic studies were conducted with Safyral.

Folate Supplementation

Two studies evaluated the impact of Safyral on plasma folate and red blood cell (RBC) folate levels. A randomized, double-blind, active-controlled, parallel group study compared plasma folate and RBC folate levels during a 24-week treatment with 3 mg DRSP/0.02 mg EE (YAZ) + 0.451 mg levomefolate calcium as compared to YAZ alone in a U.S. population. The pharmacodynamic effect on plasma folate, RBC folate, and the profile of circulating folate metabolites was assessed during 24 weeks of treatment with 0.451 mg levomefolate calcium or with 0.4 mg folic acid (equimolar dose to 0.451 mg levomefolate calcium), both in combination with 3 mg DRSP/0.03 mg EE (Yasmin) followed by 20 weeks of open-label treatment with Yasmin only (elimination phase). [ See Clinical Studies]

Pharmacokinetics

Absorption

Safyral and Yasmin are bioequivalent with respect to DRSP and EE.

The absolute bioavailability of DRSP from a single entity tablet is about 76%. The absolute bioavailability of EE is approximately 40% as a result of presystemic conjugation and first-pass metabolism. The absolute bioavailability of Safyral, which is a combination tablet of DRSP and EE stabilized by betadex as a clathrate (molecular inclusion complex), has not been evaluated. The bioavailability of EE is similar when dosed via a betadex clathrate formulation compared to when it is dosed as a free steroid. Serum concentrations of DRSP and EE reached peak levels within 1-2 hours after administration of Safyral.

The pharmacokinetics of DRSP are dose proportional following single doses ranging from 1-10 mg. Following daily dosing of Yasmin, steady state DRSP concentrations were observed after 8 days. There was about 2 to 3 fold accumulation in serum Cmax and AUC (0-24h) values of DRSP following multiple dose administration of Yasmin (see Table 2).

For EE, steady-state conditions are reported during the second half of a treatment cycle. Following daily administration of Yasmin serum Cmax and AUC (0-24h) values of EE accumulate by a factor of about 1.5 to 2 (see Table 2).

Levomefolate calcium is structurally identical to L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate (L-5-methyl-THF), a metabolite of vitamin B9. Mean baseline concentrations of about 15 nmol/L are reached in populations without folate food fortification under normal nutritional conditions. Orally administered levomefolate calcium is absorbed and is incorporated into the body folate pool. Peak plasma concentrations of about 50 nmol/L above baseline are reached within 0.5 – 1.5 hours after single oral administration of 0.451 mg levomefolate calcium.

Steady state conditions for total folate in plasma after intake of 0.451 mg levomefolate calcium are reached after about 816 weeks depending on the baseline levels. In red blood cells achievement of steady state is delayed due to the long lifespan of red blood cells of about 120 days.

Table 2: Mean Pharmacokinetic Parameters Of YASMIN (DRSP 3 mg and EE 0.03 mg )

DRSP Mean (%CV) Values
Cycle / Day No. of Subjects Cmax (ng/mL) Tmax (h) AUC(0-24h) (ng•h/mL) t½ (h)
1/1 12 36.9 (13) 1.7 (47) 288 (25) NA
1/21 12 87.5 (59) 1.7 (20) 827 (23) 30.9 (44)
6/21 12 84.2 (19) 1.8 (19) 930 (19) 32.5 (38)
9/21 12 81.3 (19) 1.6 (38) 957 (23) 31.4 (39)
13/21 12 78.7 (18) 1.6 (26) 968 (24) 31.1 (36)
EE Mean (%CV) Values
Cycle / Day No. of Subjects Cmax (pg/mL) Tmax (h) AUC(0-24h) (pg•h/mL) t½ (h)
1/21 11 53.5 (43) 1.9 (45) 280 (87) NA
1/21 11 92.1 (35) 1.5 (40) 461 (94) NA
6/21 11 99.1 (45) 1.5 (47) 346 (74) NA
9/21 11 87 (43) 1.5 (42) 485 (92) NA
13/21 10 90.5 (45) 1.6 (38) 469 (83) NA

Food Effect

The rate of absorption of DRSP and EE following single administration of a formulation similar to Safyral was slower under fed (high fat meal) conditions with the serum Cmax being reduced about 40% for both components. The extent of absorption of DRSP, however, remained unchanged. In contrast, the extent of absorption of EE was reduced by about 20% under fed conditions.

The effect of food on absorption of levomefolate calcium following administration of Safyral has not been evaluated.

Distribution

DRSP and EE serum concentrations decline in two phases. The apparent volume of distribution of DRSP is approximately 4 L/kg and that of EE is reported to be approximately 4–5 L/kg.

DRSP does not bind to sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) or corticosteroid binding globulin (CBG) but binds about 97% to other serum proteins. Multiple dosing over 3 cycles resulted in no change in the free fraction (as measured at trough concentrations). EE is reported to be highly but non-specifically bound to serum albumin (approximately 98.5 %) and induces an increase in the serum concentrations of both SHBG and CBG. EE induced effects on SHBG and CBG were not affected by variation of the DRSP dosage in the range of 2 to 3 mg.

Biphasic kinetics is reported for folates with a fast- and a slow-turnover pool. The fast-turnover pool, probably reflecting newly absorbed folate, is consistent with the terminal half-life of approximately 4-5 hours after single oral administration of 0.451 mg levomefolate calcium. The slow-turnover pool reflecting turnover of folate polyglutamate has a mean residence time of greater than or equal to 100 days.

Metabolism

The two main metabolites of DRSP found in human plasma were identified to be the acid form of DRSP generated by opening of the lactone ring and the 4,5-dihydrodrospirenone-3-sulfate. These metabolites were shown not to be pharmacologically active. In in vitro studies with human liver microsomes, DRSP was metabolized only to a minor extent mainly by CYP3A4.

EE has been reported to be subject to presystemic conjugation in both small bowel mucosa and the liver. Metabolism occurs primarily by aromatic hydroxylation but a wide variety of hydroxylated and methylated metabolites are formed. These are present as free metabolites and as conjugates with glucuronide and sulfate. CYP3A4 in the liver is responsible for the 2-hydroxylation which is the major oxidative reaction. The 2-hydroxy metabolite is further transformed by methylation and glucuronidation prior to urinary and fecal excretion.

L-5-methyl-THF is the predominant folate transport form in blood under physiological conditions and during folic acid and levomefolate calcium administration.

Excretion

DRSP serum concentrations are characterized by a terminal disposition phase half-life of approximately 30 hours after both single and multiple dose regimens. Excretion of DRSP was nearly complete after ten days and amounts excreted were slightly higher in feces compared to urine. DRSP was extensively metabolized and only trace amounts of unchanged DRSP were excreted in urine and feces. At least 20 different metabolites were observed in urine and feces. About 38-47% of the metabolites in urine were glucuronide and sulfate conjugates. In feces, about 17-20% of the metabolites were excreted as glucuronides and sulfates.

For EE the terminal disposition phase half-life has been reported to be approximately 24 hours. EE is not excreted unchanged. EE is excreted in the urine and feces as glucuronide and sulfate conjugates and undergoes enterohepatic circulation.

L-5-methyl-THF is eliminated from the body by urinary excretion of intact folates and catabolic products as well as fecal excretion through a biphasic kinetics process.

Use in Specific Populations

Pediatric Use: Safety and efficacy of Safyral has been established in women of reproductive age. Efficacy is expected to be the same for postpubertal adolescents under the age of 18 and for users 18 years and older. Use of this product before menarche is not indicated.

Geriatric Use: Safyral has not been studied in postmenopausal women and is not indicated in this population.

Race: No clinically significant difference was observed between the pharmacokinetics of DRSP or EE in Japanese versus Caucasian women (age 25-35) when 3 mg DRSP/0.02 mg EE was administered daily for 21 days. Other ethnic groups have not been specifically studied.

Renal Impairment: Safyral is contraindicated in patients with renal impairment.

The effect of renal impairment on the pharmacokinetics of DRSP (3 mg daily for 14 days) and the effect of DRSP on serum potassium concentrations were investigated in three separate groups of female subjects (n=28, age 30-65). All subjects were on a low potassium diet. During the study, 7 subjects continued the use of potassium-sparing drugs for the treatment of their underlying illness. On the 14th day (steady-state) of DRSP treatment, the serum DRSP concentrations in the group with CLcr of 50–79 mL/min were comparable to those in the control group with CLcr ≥ 80 mL/min. The serum DRSP concentrations were on average 37% higher in the group with CLcr of 30–49 mL/min compared to those in the control group. DRSP treatment did not show any clinically significant effect on serum potassium concentration. Although hyperkalemia was not observed in the study, in five of the seven subjects who continued use of potassium-sparing drugs during the study, mean serum potassium concentrations increased by up to 0.33 mEq/L. [See CONTRAINDICATIONS and WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]

Hepatic Impairment: Safyral is contraindicated in patients with hepatic disease.

The mean exposure to DRSP in women with moderate liver impairment is approximately three times higher than the exposure in women with normal liver function. Safyral has not been studied in women with severe hepatic impairment. [See CONTRAINDICATIONS and WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]

Drug Interactions

Consult the labeling of all concurrently used drugs to obtain further information about interactions with oral contraceptives or the potential for enzyme alterations.

Effects of Other Drugs on Combined Oral Contraceptives

Substances diminishing the efficacy of COCs: Drugs or herbal products that induce certain enzymes, including CYP3A4, may decrease the effectiveness of COCs or increase breakthrough bleeding.

Substances increasing the plasma concentrations of COCs: Co-administration of atorvastatin with certain COCs containing ethinyl estradiol increase AUC values for ethinyl estradiol by approximately 20%. Ascorbic acid and acetaminophen may increase plasma ethinyl estradiol concentrations, possibly by inhibition of conjugation. CYP3A4 inhibitors such as itraconazole or ketoconazole may increase plasma hormone concentrations.

HIV/HCV protease inhibitors and non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors: Significant changes (increase or decrease) in the plasma concentrations of estrogen and progestin have been noted in some cases of co-administration with HIV/HCV protease inhibitors or with non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors.

Antibiotics: There have been reports of pregnancy while taking hormonal contraceptives and antibiotics, but clinical pharmacokinetic studies have not shown consistent effects of antibiotics on plasma concentrations of synthetic steroids.

Effects of Combined Oral Contraceptives on Other Drugs

COCs containing ethinyl estradiol may inhibit the metabolism of other compounds. COCs have been shown to significantly decrease plasma concentrations of lamotrigine, likely due to induction of lamotrigine glucuronidation. This may reduce seizure control; therefore, dosage adjustments of lamotrigine may be necessary. Consult the labeling of the concurrently-used drug to obtain further information about interactions with COCs or the potential for enzyme alterations.

Metabolism of DRSP and potential effects of DRSP on hepatic CYP enzymes have been investigated in in vitro and in vivo studies. In in vitro studies DRSP did not affect turnover of model substrates of CYP1A2 and CYP2D6, but had an inhibitory influence on the turnover of model substrates of CYP1A1, CYP2C9, CYP2C19, and CYP3A4, with CYP2C19 being the most sensitive enzyme. The potential effect of DRSP on CYP2C19 activity was investigated in a clinical pharmacokinetic study using omeprazole as a marker substrate. In the study with 24 postmenopausal women [including 12 women with homozygous (wild type) CYP2C19 genotype and 12 women with heterozygous CYP2C19 genotype] the daily oral administration of 3 mg DRSP for 14 days did not affect the oral clearance of omeprazole (40 mg, single oral dose) and the CYP2C19 product 5-hydroxy omeprazole. Furthermore, no significant effect of DRSP on the systemic clearance of the CYP3A4 product omeprazole sulfone was found. These results demonstrate that DRSP did not inhibit CYP2C19 and CYP3A4 in vivo.

Two additional clinical drug-drug interaction studies using simvastatin and midazolam as marker substrates for CYP3A4 were each performed in 24 healthy postmenopausal women. The results of these studies demonstrated that pharmacokinetics of the CYP3A4 substrates were not influenced by steady state DRSP concentrations achieved after administration of 3 mg DRSP/day.

Women on thyroid hormone replacement therapy may need increased doses of thyroid hormone because serum concentration of thyroid-binding globulin increases with use of COCs.

Interactions With Drugs That Have the Potential to Increase Serum Potassium Concentration: There is a potential for an increase in serum potassium concentration in women taking Safyral with other drugs that may increase serum potassium concentration [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

A drug-drug interaction study of DRSP 3 mg/estradiol (E2) 1 mg versus placebo was performed in 24 mildly hypertensive postmenopausal women taking enalapril maleate 10 mg twice daily. Potassium concentrations were obtained every other day for a total of 2 weeks in all subjects. Mean serum potassium concentrations in the DRSP/E2 treatment group relative to baseline were 0.22 mEq/L higher than those in the placebo group. Serum potassium concentrations also were measured at multiple time points over 24 hours at baseline and on Day 14. On Day 14, the ratios for serum potassium Cmax and AUC in the DRSP/E2 group to those in the placebo group were 0.955 (90% CI: 0.914, 0.999) and 1.010 (90% CI: 0.944, 1.08), respectively. No patient in either treatment group developed hyperkalemia (serum potassium concentrations > 5.5 mEq/L).

Effects of Folates on Other Drugs

There is a potential that folates such as folic acid and levomefolate calcium may modify the pharmacokinetics or pharmacodynamics of certain antifolate drugs (e.g., antiepileptics, methotrexate).

Effects of other Drugs on Folate

Several drugs (e.g., methotrexate, sulfasalazine, cholestyramine, antiepileptics) have been reported to reduce folate concentrations.

Clinical Studies

Oral Contraceptive Clinical Trial

In the clinical efficacy studies of Yasmin (3 mg DRSP/0.03 mg EE) of up to 2 years duration, 2,629 subjects completed 33,160 cycles of use without any other contraception. The mean age of the subjects was 25.5 ± 4.7 years. The age range was 16 to 37 years. The racial demographic was: 83% Caucasian, 1% Hispanic, 1% Black, <1% Asian, <1% other, <1% missing data, 14% not inquired and <1% unspecified. Pregnancy rates in the clinical trials were less than one per 100 woman-years of use.

Folate Supplementation Clinical Trials

The development program for Safyral (Yasmin + levomefolate calcium) consisted of two clinical trials.

One study was a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, active-controlled, parallel group US study. Plasma folate and red blood cell folate levels were investigated during a 24-week treatment with 3 mg DRSP/0.02 mg EE (YAZ) + 0.451 mg levomefolate calcium as compared to YAZ alone in a U.S. population that consumed folate fortified food. A total of 379 healthy women between 18 and 40 years of age with no restrictions on folate supplementation received YAZ + levomefolate calcium (N= 285) or YAZ (N=94). The plasma and RBC folate concentrations at Week 24 were the coprimary endpoints. Figures 1 and 2 display the results for plasma and RBC folate concentrations, respectively, among evaluable subjects in each arm of the study.

Figure 3: US Study: Mean trough concentration-time curves (and SD) of plasma folates after daily oral administration of YAZ + levomefolate calcium and YAZ

Mean trough concentration-time curves - Illustration

Arithmetic mean values based on 4-weekly measurements are displayed with arithmetic standard deviations which are shown in only one direction to improve readability. Data are based on the per protocol analysis populations. The SD bars shown represent one SD.

Figure 4: US Study: Mean concentration-time curves (and SD) of RBC folates after daily oral administration of YAZ + levomefolate calcium and YAZ

Mean concentration-time curves - Illustration

Arithmetic mean values based on 4-weekly measurements are displayed with arithmetic standard deviations which are shown in only one direction to improve readability. Data are based on the per protocol analysis populations. The SD bars shown represent one SD.

In the second study, the pharmacodynamic effect on plasma folate, RBC folate, and the profile of circulating folate metabolites was assessed during 24 weeks of treatment with 0.451 mg levomefolate calcium or with 0.4 mg folic acid (equimolar dose to 0.451 mg levomefolate calcium), both in combination with 3 mg DRSP/0.03 mg EE (Yasmin) followed by 20 weeks of open-label treatment with Yasmin only (elimination phase). One-hundred and seventy-two healthy women between 18 to 40 years of age from a German population that consumed food without folate fortification and without concomitant intake of folate supplements were randomized to one of the two treatments. Figures 3 and 4 display the results for plasma and RBC folate concentrations, respectively, among evaluable subjects in the levomefolate arm of the study.

Figure 5: German Study: Mean trough concentration-time curve (and SD) of plasma folates after daily oral administration of Yasmin + levomefolate calcium

Mean trough concentration-time curve - Illustration

Arithmetic mean values based on biweekly measurements are displayed with arithmetic standard deviations. In the treatment phase, women received Yasmin + levomefolate calcium; in the elimination phase, all womenreceived Yasmin only. Data are based on the per protocol analysis population. The SD bars shown represent one SD.

Figure 6: German Study: Mean concentration-time curves (and SD) of RBC folates after daily oral administration of Yasmin + levomefolate calcium

Mean concentration-time curves - Illustration

Arithmetic mean values based on biweekly measurements are displayed with arithmetic standard deviations. In the treatment phase, women received Yasmin + levomefolate calcium; in the elimination phase, all womenreceived Yasmin only. Data are based on the per protocol analysis population. The SD bars shown represent one SD.

The potential to reduce the incidence of neural tube defects (NTDs) with folate supplementation is well established based on a body of evidence derived from randomized, controlled trials, nonrandomized intervention trials, and observational studies using folic acid. Therefore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommend that women of childbearing age consume supplemental folic acid in a dose of at least 0.4 mg (400 mcg) daily1,6.

REFERENCES

1. US Preventive Services Task Force. Folic Acid for the Prevention of Neural Tube Defects: US Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement. Ann Intern Med 2009;150:626-631.

6. Lidegaard, O., Nielsen, L.H., Skovlund, C.W., Skjeldestad, F.E., and Lokkegaard, E. (2011). Risk of venous thromboembolism from use of oral contraceptives containing different progestogens and oestrogen doses: Danish cohort study, 2001-9. BMJ 343, d6423.

11. Centers for Disease Control. Recommendations for the use of folic acid to reduce the number of cases of spina bifida and other neural tube defects. MMWR 1992;41(No. RR-14).

Last reviewed on RxList: 4/20/2012
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

A A A

Safyral - User Reviews

Safyral User Reviews

Now you can gain knowledge and insight about a drug treatment with Patient Discussions.

Here is a collection of user reviews for the medication Safyral sorted by most helpful. Patient Discussions FAQs

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

 

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


Women's Health

Find out what women really need.

Health Resources
advertisement
advertisement
Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations