St John's wort (SJW; Hypericum perforatum) induces CYP3A4 that is involved in the metabolism of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) protease inhibitor boceprevir. Reduced boceprevir exposure and efficacy would contribute to therapeutic failure and increase the risk for resistance development. Boceprevir is co-administered with interferon/ribavirin, and depression has been described frequently in patients undergoing HCV treatment. Patients may purchase over-the-counter herbals to manage depression, and knowing the interaction between SJW and boceprevir is desirable.Methods:
This Phase I, open-label, three-period, cross-over pharmacokinetic study enrolled healthy males and females who, following consent and screening procedures, were randomized to receive SJW on days 1-14, SJW plus boceprevir (SJW on days 22-35 and together on days 31-35) and boceprevir on days 52-56, separated by 7 day washout periods, or the same treatment in the opposite order. Pharmacokinetic sampling was performed at the end of each phase.Results:
Seventeen (11 female) subjects completed the study and no serious adverse events were reported. Geometric mean ratios (GMRs) and 90% CIs for boceprevir (with SJW versus alone) AUC0-8, Cmax and C8 were 0.91 (0.87-0.96), 0.94 (0.82-1.07) and 1.00 (0.79-1.27), respectively. GMRs and 90% CIs for hypericin, the active component of SJW, (with boceprevir versus alone) AUC0-8, Cmax and C8 were 1.23 (1.10-1.38), 1.32 (1.16-1.52) and 1.37 (1.19-1.58), respectively.Conclusions:
SJW did not have a clinically significant effect on boceprevir plasma concentrations (or those of its metabolite), suggesting that SJW and boceprevir can be safely co-administered.