Effects of Itraconazole on Pharmacokinetics of Mitragynine and 7-Hydroxymitragynine in Healthy Volunteers

ACS Pharmacol Transl Sci. 2024 Feb 20;7(3):823-833. doi: 10.1021/acsptsci.3c00335. eCollection 2024 Mar 8.


CYP3A4-mediated metabolic conversion of mitragynine to 7-hydroxymitragynine (7OH) has been demonstrated in human liver microsomes, and in rodents. Pharmacokinetics (PK) of mitragynine and 7OH in humans is still limited. We aimed to examine the pharmacokinetics of mitragynine and the formation of 7OH in healthy volunteers. To elucidate involvement of CYP3A4 in 7OH formation, inhibition by itraconazole was implemented. Two study periods with PK study of mitragynine alone in period 1, followed by period 2 including itraconazole pretreatment was conducted. Freshly prepared kratom tea consisting of 23.6 mg of mitragynine was given to participants in both study periods. Serial blood samplings were performed for 72 hours, and analyzed using a validated LCMS in multiple reaction monitoring mode. The median Cmax for mitragynine of 159.12 ± 8.68 ng/mL was attained in 0.84 h. While median Cmax for 7OH of 12.81 ± 3.39 ng/mL was observed at 1.77 h. In period 1, Cmax and AUC 0-inf of 7OH accounted for 9% and 20 %, respectively, of those parameters for mitragynine. The geometric mean ratio of AUC0-72 for 7OH/mitragynine (metabolic ratio, MR) was 13.25 ± 1.07. Co-administration of itraconazole 200 mg per day orally for 4 days (period 2) decreased 7OH exposure by 56% for Cmax and 43% for AUC0-72 after a single oral dose of kratom tea. While the Cmax of mitragynine increased by 1.5 folds without a significant change in Tmax. The geometric mean metabolic ratio was 3.30 ± 1.23 (period 2), indicating the attenuation for the formation of 7OH by the pretreatment with itraconazole. This suggested the CYP3A4-mediated formation of 7OH from mitragynine in healthy volunteers. This study provides the first evidence of metabolic conversion of mitragynine to 7OH in humans.