Inhibitory effect of medroxyprogesterone acetate on human liver cytochrome P450 enzymes

Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2006 Jul;62(7):497-502. doi: 10.1007/s00228-006-0128-9. Epub 2006 Apr 28.


Objective: Medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA), frequently used in contraception and chemotherapy, was involved in a report of drug-drug interaction (DDI) when co-administrated with phenytoin, doxifluridine and cyclophosphamide. In order to clarify the mechanism of such interaction, an in vitro study was undertaken to evaluate MPA's potential to inhibit cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes.

Methods: Inhibitory effects of MPA on seven CYPs, including CYP1A2, CYP2A6, CYP2C8, CYP2C9, CYP2D6, CYP2E1 and CYP3A4, were conducted in human liver microsomes. Time- and NADPH-dependent inhibitions were also tested. DDI potential was predicted according to the [I]/K ( i ) value.

Results: MPA was found to inhibit CYP2C9 and CYP3A4; half inhibition concentration (IC(50)) was 16.1 microM and 31.5 microM, respectively. Slight inhibition was observed on CYP1A2, CYP2A6, CYP2C8 and CYP2D6 with IC(50) of more than 100 microM. MPA exhibited activation rather than inhibition on CYP2E1. Further study revealed that MPA showed a noncompetitive inhibition on CYP2C9 and a competitive inhibition on CYP3A4 with K ( i ) of 9.0 microM and 36 microM, respectively. In addition, MPA was not a mechanism-based inhibitor to any of seven isoforms tested. By using predicted concentration of MPA in liver, [I]/K ( i ) was estimated to be 0.24 and 0.06 for CYP2C9 and CYP3A4, respectively. The concentration of phenytoin co-administrated with MPA was calculated to increase by 24%.

Conclusion: Based on our results, MPA can possibly cause clinically relevant DDI via the inhibition of CYP2C9.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal / pharmacology*
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme Inhibitors*
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / metabolism
  • Diclofenac / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Humans
  • Hydroxylation / drug effects
  • Liver / drug effects*
  • Liver / enzymology*
  • Male
  • Medroxyprogesterone Acetate / pharmacology*
  • Microsomes, Liver / drug effects*
  • Microsomes, Liver / enzymology*
  • Testosterone / antagonists & inhibitors


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Diclofenac
  • Testosterone
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System
  • Medroxyprogesterone Acetate