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Vaginal tamoxifen for treatment of vulvar and vaginal atrophy: Pharmacokinetics and local tolerance in a rabbit model over 28 days.

Int J Pharm. 2019 Sep 10;:118691

Authors: Chollet J, Mermelstein F, Rocamboli SC, Friend DR

Vaginally delivered tamoxifen is being developed as alternative to estrogen-based therapies for the treatment of vulvar and vaginal atrophy (VVA) symptoms in subjects at high risk for breast cancer, undergoing treatment for breast cancer with aromatase inhibitors or are breast cancer survivors. Tamoxifen (1 or 20 mg) was administered intra-vaginally to female rabbits once-daily over a 28-day period to assess its pharmacokinetics, systemic exposure and local vaginal tolerance. Plasma samples were taken to assess concentrations of tamoxifen and its metabolites 4-hydroxytamoxifen and N-desmethyltamoxifen over the first day of vaginal administration and following the last dose on Day 28. In-life observations included evaluation of the vaginal region for signs of irritation. At necropsy, vaginal irritation was assessed by the method of Eckstein which reflect collective histopathological grading of four parameters within the vagina including epithelial morphology, leukocytic infiltration, congestion, and edema. Uterine effects of vaginal tamoxifen were also assessed. Plasma concentrations of tamoxifen were higher following administration of 20 mg tamoxifen compared to 1 mg tamoxifen at both Day 1 and Day 28. The metabolite 4-hydroxytamoxifen could not be detected on Day 1 and concentrations were low at Day 28 at the 1 mg tamoxifen dose. 4-Hydroxytamoxifen concentrations were low, but detectable at Day 1 and 28 following administration of 20 mg tamoxifen. The metabolite N-desmethyltamoxifen was undetectable at the 1 mg and 20 mg doses on Day 1; it remained undetectable at the 1 mg tamoxifen dose at Day 28. N-desmethyltamoxifen was detected over the first 8 hours of Day 28 then fell below the quantitation limits. There was little to no vaginal or systemic accumulation of tamoxifen following once-daily dosing for 28 days. Tamoxifen accounted for more than 85% of the total systemic exposure compared to its metabolites, 4-hydroxytamoxifen, and N-desmethyltamoxifen. There was essentially no detectable vaginal irritation evident over the course of the study. At necropsy the individual Eckstein scores (maximum score of 16) of the proximal, mid, and distal vagina of females in the 1 mg and 20 mg dose groups were generally comparable in both groups and ranged from minimal to mild magnitude (1 mg dose group: ranging from 1 to 3 in the proximal vagina, 4 to 5 in the mid vagina, and 3 to 7 in the distal vagina; 20 mg dose group: ranging from 3 to 5 in the proximal vagina, 4 to 7 in the mid vagina, and 4 to 5 in the distal vagina). Overall, tamoxifen was absorbed and metabolized following vaginal administration and vaginal irritation was minimal to none at both doses.

PMID: 31518632 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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