A Phase I, open-label, randomized, crossover study in three parallel groups to evaluate the effect of Rifampicin, Ketoconazole, and Omeprazole on the pharmacokinetics of THC/CBD oromucosal spray in healthy volunteers

Springerplus. 2013 May 24;2(1):236. doi: 10.1186/2193-1801-2-236. Print 2013 Dec.


Abstract: This Phase I study aimed to assess the potential drug-drug interactions (pharmacokinetic [PK] and safety profile) of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)/cannabidiol (CBD) oromucosal spray (Sativex (®), nabiximols) in combination with cytochrome P450 (CYP450) inducer (rifampicin) or inhibitors (ketoconazole or omeprazole). Thirty-six healthy male subjects were divided into three groups of 12, and then randomized to one of two treatment sequences per group. Subjects received four sprays of THC/CBD (10.8/10 mg) alongside single doses of the CYP3A and 2C19 inducer rifampicin (600 mg), CYP3A inhibitor ketoconazole (400 mg) or CYP2C19 inhibitor omeprazole (40 mg). Plasma samples were analyzed for CBD, THC and its metabolite 11-hydroxy-THC (11-OH-THC). A single dose of four sprays of THC/CBD spray (10.8/10 mg) following repeated doses of rifampicin (600 mg) reduced the Cmax and AUC of all analytes. Cmax reduced from 2.94 to 1.88 ng/mL (-36%), 1.03 to 0.50 ng/mL (-52%) and 3.38 to 0.45 ng/mL (-87%) for THC, CBD and 11-OH-THC, respectively compared to single dose administration of THC/CBD spray alone. Ketoconazole co-administration with THC/CBD spray had the opposite effect, increasing the Cmax of the respective analytes from 2.65 to 3.36 ng/mL (+27%), 0.66 to 1.25 ng/mL (+89%) and 3.59 to 10.92 ng/mL (+204%). No significant deviations in Cmax or AUC for any analyte were observed when THC/CBD spray was co-administered with omeprazole. THC/CBD spray was well tolerated by the study subjects both alone and in combination with rifampicin, ketoconazole and omeprazole. Evaluation of the PKs of THC/CBD spray alone and in combination with CYP450 inhibitors/inducers suggests that all analytes are substrates for the isoenzyme CYP3A4, but not CYP2C19. On the basis of our findings, there is likely to be little impact on other drugs metabolized by CYP enzymes on the PK parameters of THC/CBD spray, but potential effects should be taken into consideration when co-administering THC/CBD spray with compounds which share the CYP3A4 pathway such as rifampicin or ketoconazole.

Trials registration: NCT01323465.

Keywords: Cannabidiol; Cytochrome P450; Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol; Nabiximols†; Sativex ®†; THC/CBD spray.

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01323465