Investigations of hydrazine cleavage of eltrombopag in humans

Drug Metab Dispos. 2011 Sep;39(9):1747-54. doi: 10.1124/dmd.111.040188. Epub 2011 Jun 6.


After oral administration to humans, eltrombopag undergoes extensive cleavage of its hydrazine linkage to metabolites, which are exclusively eliminated in urine. In vitro, the cleavage pathway was not detected in systems using cytochrome P450 enzymes, renal or hepatic microsomes, or hepatocytes but was readily evident after anaerobic incubation with rodent cecal contents or human fecal homogenate. Antibiotic treatment in vitro and in vivo inhibited eltrombopag cleavage, further indicating that cleavage is via gut microbes. Antibiotic treatment did not alter the systemic exposure of eltrombopag in mice. Oral and intravenous pharmacokinetic characterization in the mice with one of the cleavage products indicated that it was readily absorbed, conjugated, and eliminated in urine, consistent with its fate after oral administration of eltrombopag. Variation in this microbial pathway, for example by antibiotic cotherapy, is unlikely to be clinically significant.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Benzoates / metabolism*
  • Benzoates / pharmacokinetics
  • Cecum / drug effects
  • Cecum / microbiology
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / metabolism
  • Feces / chemistry
  • Female
  • Hepatocytes / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hydrazines / metabolism*
  • Hydrazines / pharmacokinetics
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Microsomes / enzymology
  • Microsomes / metabolism
  • Pyrazoles / metabolism*
  • Pyrazoles / pharmacokinetics
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Benzoates
  • Hydrazines
  • Pyrazoles
  • hydrazine
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System
  • eltrombopag