Context: Treatment of congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) is suboptimal. Inadequate suppression of androgens and glucocorticoid excess are common and current glucocorticoid formulations cannot replace the cortisol circadian rhythm.
Objectives: The primary objective was to characterize the pharmacokinetic profile of Chronocort, a modified-release hydrocortisone formulation, in adults with CAH. Secondary objectives included examining disease control following 6 months of Chronocort with dose titration.
Design, setting, and patients: Sixteen adults (eight females) with classic CAH participated in an open-label, nonrandomized, Phase 2 study at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center. Twenty-four-hour blood sampling was performed on conventional glucocorticoids and following 6 months of Chronocort. Chronocort was initiated at 10 mg (0700 h) and 20 mg (2300 h). Dose titration was performed based on androstenedione and 17-hydroxyprogresterone (17-OHP) levels and clinical symptomatology.
Main outcome measures: The primary outcome was cortisol pharmacokinetics of Chronocort and secondary outcomes included biomarkers of CAH control (androstenedione and 17-OHP).
Results: In patients with CAH, Chronocort cortisol profiles were similar to physiologic cortisol secretion. Compared with conventional therapy, 6 months of Chronocort resulted in a decrease in hydrocortisone dose equivalent (28 ± 11.8 vs 25.9 ± 7.1 mg/d), with lower 24-hour (P = .004), morning (0700-1500 h; P = .002), and afternoon (1500-2300 h; P = .011) androstenedione area under the curve (AUC) and lower 24-hour (P = .023) and morning (0700-1500 h; P = .02) 17-OHP AUC.
Conclusions: Twice-daily Chronocort approximates physiologic cortisol secretion, and was well tolerated and effective in controlling androgen excess in adults with CAH. This novel hydrocortisone formulation represents a new treatment approach for patients with CAH.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01735617.