Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Abstract The pharmacokinetics of recombinant human relaxin (rhRlx) after intravenous (iv) bolus administration and the absorption of rhRlx after intracervical or intravaginal administration were determined in nonpregnant women. The study was conducted in two parts. In part I, 25 women received 0.01 mg/kg rhRlx iv. After a minimum 7-day washout period, these women were dosed intracervically (n = 10) or intravaginally (n = 15) with 0.75 or 1.5 mg rhRlx, respectively, in 3% methylcellulose gel. Part II was a double-blind, randomized, three-way crossover study in 26 women. At 1-month intervals, each woman received one of three intravaginal treatments consisting of 0 (placebo), 1, or 6 mg rhRlx in 3% methylcellulose gel. The serum concentrations of relaxin following iv administration were described as the sum of three exponentials. The mean (±SD) initial, intermediate, and terminal half-lives were 0.09 ± 0.04, 0.72 ± 0.11, and 4.6 ± 1.2 hr, respectively. Most of the area under the curve was associated with the intermediate half-life. The weight-normalized clearance was 170 ± 50 mL/hr/kg. The observed peak concentration was 98 ± 29 ng/mL, and the weight-normalized initial volume of distribution was 78 ± 40 mL/kg, which is approximately equivalent to the serum volume. If central compartment elimination was assumed, the volume of distribution at steady state (V ss/W) was 280 ± 100 mL/kg, which is approximately equivalent to extracellular fluid volume. V ss/W could be as large as 1300 ± 400 mL/kg without this assumption. After intravaginal administration of the placebo gel, endogenous relaxin concentrations were evident (i.e., ≥20 pg/mL) in 9 of the 26 women (maximum concentrations, 23–234 pg/mL). A similar proportion of women (approximately 35–40%) exhibited measurable serum concentrations of relaxin following intravaginal rhRlx treatment; this proportion increased to 90% following intracervical rhRlx treatment. For both routes of administration, the maximum serum concentrations of relaxin were usually within the range of values observed for endogenous relaxin, suggesting that the absorption of rhRlx was minimal.
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