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

Effects of felbamate on the pharmacokinetics of a low-dose combination oral contraceptive.

The effects of felbamate on the pharmacokinetics of a low-dose combination oral contraceptive containing 30 micrograms ethinyl estradiol and 75 micrograms gestodene were assessed in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled parallel-group study in healthy premenopausal female volunteers established in a regimen of oral contraceptive use. They received either placebo or 2400 mg/day felbamate from midcycle (day 15) to midcycle (day 14) of two consecutive oral contraceptive cycles (months 1 and 2). Pharmacokinetic assessments of ethinyl estradiol and gestodene were performed on day 14 of both cycles. To determine whether ovulation occurred, plasma progesterone and urinary luteinizing hormone levels were measured, and diaries recording vaginal bleeding were kept. Felbamate treatment resulted in a significant 42% decrease in gestodene area under the plasma concentration-time curve (0 to 24 hours) (p = 0.018) compared with baseline, whereas a minor but not clinically relevant effect was observed on the pharmacokinetic parameters of ethinyl estradiol. There were no changes in the pharmacokinetics of ethinyl estradiol or gestodene after placebo treatment. No volunteer showed hormonal evidence of ovulation; however, one volunteer reported the onset of intermenstrual bleeding during felbamate treatment. Because of the effect of felbamate on the pharmacokinetics of gestodene and the report of intermenstrual bleeding, it is possible that the contraceptive efficacy of low-dose combination oral contraceptives may be adversely affected during felbamate treatment.[1]


  1. Effects of felbamate on the pharmacokinetics of a low-dose combination oral contraceptive. Saano, V., Glue, P., Banfield, C.R., Reidenberg, P., Colucci, R.D., Meehan, J.W., Haring, P., Radwanski, E., Nomeir, A., Lin, C.C. Clin. Pharmacol. Ther. (1995) [Pubmed]
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