British journal of cancer

Oral co-administration of elacridar and ritonavir enhances plasma levels of oral paclitaxel and docetaxel without affecting relative brain accumulation.

PMID 24781280


The intestinal uptake of the taxanes paclitaxel and docetaxel is seriously hampered by drug efflux through P-glycoprotein (P-gp) and drug metabolism via cytochrome P450 (CYP) 3A. The resulting low oral bioavailability can be boosted by co-administration of P-gp or CYP3A4 inhibitors. Paclitaxel or docetaxel (10 mg/kg) was administered to CYP3A4-humanised mice after administration of the P-gp inhibitor elacridar (25 mg kg(-1)) and the CYP3A inhibitor ritonavir (12.5 mg kg(-1)). Plasma and brain concentrations of the taxanes were measured. Oral co-administration of the taxanes with elacridar increased plasma concentrations of paclitaxel (10.7-fold, P<0.001) and docetaxel (four-fold, P<0.001). Co-administration with ritonavir resulted in 2.5-fold (paclitaxel, P<0.001) and 7.3-fold (docetaxel, P<0.001) increases in plasma concentrations. Co-administration with both inhibitors simultaneously resulted in further increased plasma concentrations of paclitaxel (31.9-fold, P<0.001) and docetaxel (37.4-fold, P<0.001). Although boosting of orally applied taxanes with elacridar and ritonavir potentially increases brain accumulation of taxanes, we found that only brain concentrations, but not brain-to-plasma ratios, were increased after co-administration with both inhibitors. The oral availability of taxanes can be enhanced by co-administration with oral elacridar and ritonavir, without increasing the brain penetration of the taxanes.