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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Percutaneous absorption of [3H]tretinoin and systemic exposure to mequinol after dermal application of 2% mequinol/0.01% [3H]tretinoin (Solagé) solution in healthy volunteers.

Solagé is a combination product composed of 2% mequinol (4-hydroxyanisole) and 0.01% tretinoin (all-trans-retinoic acid) in an ethanolic solution, which is being studied for its safety and efficacy as a topical treatment for disorders of skin hyperpigmentation. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the extent of percutaneous absorption of [3H]tretinoin and to estimate the systemic exposure to mequinol from this combination product when topically applied to the backs of healthy subjects. Eight subjects received bid topical applications of nonradiolabelled 2% mequinol/0.01% tretinoin solution on a 400 cm2 area of the back for 14 days. The subjects then received a single topical application of 2% mequinol/0.01% [3H]tretinoin solution. After 12 h, the radiolabelled dose was removed and bid treatment with nonradiolabelled 2% mequinol/0.01% tretinoin solution was continued for 7 days. Plasma, urine and faecal samples were analysed for total radioactivity and plasma was analysed for both mequinol and tretinoin by GC/MS procedure. Mean percutaneous absorption of [3H]tretinoin based on the cumulative recoveries of radioactivity in the urine and faeces was about 4.5% (median 2.18%). Tretinoin concentrations in plasma did not increase above endogenous levels. This was consistent with the concentrations of radioactivity in plasma, which showed an average Cmax of 91 pg-eq/mL (median 26 ng/mL). Average Cmax and AUC(0-12 h) values for mequinol were 10 ng/mL and 33 ng h/mL, respectively. Based on the results of this study, systemic toxicity from topical application of tretinoin in this formulation is unlikely, because percutaneous absorption of tretinoin is minimal and because endogenous levels of tretinoin are not increased following bid dosing with this combination formulation. The safety of mequinol in this combination formulation is supported by the low systemic exposures of the subjects in this study compared with the systemic exposures at the highest doses in the dermal toxicity studies in mice (16.6-fold) and rats (34.6-fold).[1]


  1. Percutaneous absorption of [3H]tretinoin and systemic exposure to mequinol after dermal application of 2% mequinol/0.01% [3H]tretinoin (Solagé) solution in healthy volunteers. Everett, D.W., Franz, T.J., Chando, T.J., Gale, P.J., Lehman, P.A., Schwarzel, E.H., Parab, P.V., D'Arienzo, C.J., Kripalani, K.J. Biopharmaceutics & drug disposition. (1999) [Pubmed]
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