Comparative Pharmacokinetics of Lovastatin Extended-Release Tablets and Lovastatin Immediate-Release Tablets in Humans

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The pharmacokinetics of lovastatin and its active metabolite lovastatin acid was evaluated in 9 healthy subjects in a three-period crossover study following a single oral dose of lovastatin extended-release (ER) tablets and lovastatin immediate-release (IR) tablets. Participants were dosed with lovastatin IR 40 mg tablets following a standard breakfast, lovastatin ER 40 mg tablets following a standard breakfast, and lovastatin ER 40 mg tablets under fasting conditions. Serial plasma samples were collected for up to 48 hours postdose and assayed for lovastatin and lovastatin acid using a liquid chromatography/mass spectroscopy/mass spectroscopy method. Lovastatin ER tablets, unlike lovastatin IR tablets, exhibited delayed- and extended-release characteristics. The relative bioavailability in terms of area under the curve values, of lovastatin (156%) and lovastatin acid (124%) was greater from lovastatin ER tablets as compared with lovastatin IR tablets when given with breakfast. An even greater increase in the bioavailability of lovastatin (261 %) and lovastatin acid (231 %) was observed when the lovastatin ER tablets were administered under fasting conditions. Thus, greater gastrointestinal tract drug absorption of lovastatin from lovastatin ER tablets was demonstrated. Ingestion of a standard breakfast prior to administration of lovastatin ER tablets decreased absorption of lovastatin by approximately 40%, relative to lovastatin ER tablets under fasting conditions.

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