Effect of protease inhibitors on steady-state pharmacokinetics of oral norethindrone contraception in hiv-infected women

Jessica Atrio, Frank Z. Stanczyk, Michael Neely, Ganesh Cherala, Andrea Kovacs, Daniel R. Mishell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Objective: Pharmacokinetic interactions exist between combined oral contraceptives and protease inhibitors (PI). However, such information is lacking for progestin-only oral contraception. We sought to define the steady-state pharmacokinetic interaction between norethindrone (NET) and PI in HIV-infected women. Methods and Design: We conducted an open-label, prospective, nonrandomized trial to characterize the steady-state pharmacokinetics of serum NET in HIV-infected women receiving PI compared with a control group of HIV-infected women receiving other noninteracting drugs. After 21 days of 0.35 mg of NET ingestion once daily, serial serum samples were obtained at 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 12, 24, 48, and 72 hours. The area under the curve between 0 and 72 hours after ingestion was calculated by trapezoidal approximation. Results: Thirty-five women were enrolled, 2 withdrew. Sixteen women in the PI group and 17 controls completed the study. NET half-life and maximum concentration were not significantly different between the 2 groups. Minimum concentration of NET was significantly higher in the PI group (P = 0.01). The ratio of the geometric mean NET area under the curve in the PI group compared with controls was 1.5 (90% confidence interval: 1.21 to 1.86). NET serum concentrations were significantly higher in HIV-infected women taking a PI compared with controls (P = 0.004). Conclusions: Coadministration of PI inhibits NET metabolism as shown by higher serum NET area under the curve levels, a surrogate marker for therapeutic contraceptive efficacy. This study supports the increased utilization of progestin-only pills in HIV-infected women receiving certain PI regimens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-77
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Contraception
  • Drug interactions
  • Efficacy
  • HIV
  • Hormonal contraception
  • Norethindrone
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Progestin only pills
  • Protease inhibitor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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