Mechanism of Drug-Drug Interactions Between Warfarin and Statins.


The anticoagulant drug warfarin and the lipid-lowering statin drugs are commonly co-administered to patients with cardiovascular diseases. Clinically significant drug-drug interactions (DDIs) between these drugs have been recognized through case studies for many years, but the biochemical mechanisms causing these interactions have not been explained fully. Previous theories include kinetic alterations in cytochrome P-450-mediated drug metabolism or disturbances of drug-protein binding, leading to anticoagulant activity of warfarin; however, neither the enantioselective effects on warfarin metabolism nor the potential disruption of drug transporter function have been well investigated. This study investigated the etiology of the DDIs between warfarin and statins. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry methods were developed and validated to quantify racemic warfarin, 6 of its hydroxylated metabolites, and pure enantiomers of warfarin; these methods were applied to study the role of different absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion properties, leading to DDIs. Plasma protein binding displacement of warfarin was performed in the presence of statins using equilibrium dialysis method. Substrate kinetics of warfarin and pure enantiomers were performed with human liver microsomes to determine the kinetic parameters (Km and Vmax) for the formation of all 6 hydroxywarfarin metabolites, inhibition of warfarin metabolism in the presence of statins, was determined. Uptake transport studies of warfarin were performed using overexpressing HEK cell lines and efflux transport using human adenocarcinoma colonic cell line cells. Fluvastatin significantly displaced plasma protein binding of warfarin and pure enantiomers; no other statin resulted in significant displacement of warfarin. All the statins that inhibited the formation of 10-hydroxywarfarin, atorvastatin, pitavastatin, and simvastatin were highly potent compared to other statins; in contrast, only fluvastatin was found to be a potent inhibitor of formation of 7-hydroxy warfarin. Uptake and efflux drug transporters do not play any role in these DDIs. The results showed that DDIs between warfarin and statins are primarily caused by cytochrome P-450 inhibition.

DOI: 10.1016/j.xphs.2016.03.011
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@article{Shaik2016MechanismOD, title={Mechanism of Drug-Drug Interactions Between Warfarin and Statins.}, author={Abdul Naveed Shaik and Tonika Bohnert and David A. Williams and Lawrence L Gan and Barbara Leduc}, journal={Journal of pharmaceutical sciences}, year={2016}, volume={105 6}, pages={1976-1986} }