Use of generally recognized as safe or dietary compounds to inhibit buprenorphine metabolism: potential to improve buprenorphine oral bioavailability

Publication: Biopharm Drug Dispos
Software: ADMET Predictor®


The present study evaluated the potential of five generally recognized as safe (GRAS) or dietary compounds (α‐mangostin, chrysin, ginger extract, pterostilbene and silybin) to inhibit oxidative (CYP) and conjugative (UGT) metabolism using pooled human intestinal and liver microsomes. Buprenorphine was chosen as the model substrate as it is extensively metabolized by CYPs to norbuprenorphine and by UGTs to buprenorphine glucuronide. Chrysin, ginger extract, α‐mangostin, pterostilbene and silybin were tested for their inhibition of the formation of norbuprenorphine or buprenorphine glucuronide in both intestinal and liver microsomes. Pterostilbene was the most potent inhibitor of norbuprenorphine formation in both intestinal and liver microsomes, with IC50 values of 1.3 and 0.8 μM, respectively, while α‐mangostin and silybin most potently inhibited buprenorphine glucuronide formation. The equipotent combination of pterostilbene and ginger extract additively inhibited both pathways in intestinal microsomes. Since pterostilbene and ginger extract showed potent CYP and/or UGT inhibition of buprenorphine metabolism, their equipotent combination was tested to assess the presence of synergistic inhibition. However, because the combination showed additive inhibition, it was not used while performing IVIVE analysis. Based on quantitative in vitro–in vivo extrapolation, pterostilbene (21 mg oral dose) appeared to be most effective in improving the mean predicted Foral and AUC∞PO of buprenorphine from 3 ± 2% and 340 ± 330 ng*min/ml to 75 ± 8% and 36,000 ± 25,000 ng*min/ml, respectively. At a 10‐fold lower dose of pterostilbene, the predicted buprenorphine Foral approximated sublingual bioavailability (~35%) and showed a 2–4 fold reduction in the variability around the predicted AUC∞PO of buprenorphine. These results demonstrate the feasibility of using various GRAS/dietary compounds to inhibit substantially the metabolism by CYP and UGT enzymes to achieve higher and less variable oral bioavailability. This inhibitor strategy may be useful for drugs suffering from low and variable oral bioavailability due to extensive presystemic oxidative and/or conjugative metabolism.