Megestrol acetate is an effective treatment for improving appetite and increasing body weight in patients with cancer-associated anorexia. However, Megace ® oral suspension (OS), a micronized formulation of megestrol acetate, has low bioavailability in the fasting state. To overcome this limitation, a nanocrystal formulation has been developed. This study was performed to evaluate the pharmacokinetics and tolerability of the nanocrystal formulation and to compare them with those of Megace ® OS in the fed and fasting states.
A randomized, open-label, two-treatment, two-period, two-sequence, crossover study was performed in three parts in 93 healthy subjects. A single 625 mg/5 mL oral dose of a nanocrystal formulation was administered in the fasting and fed states (part I). In parts II and III, a single 625 mg/5 mL oral dose of the nanocrystal formulation or Megace ® OS 800 mg/20 mL was given in the fed and fasting states, respectively. Blood samples were collected for up to 120 hours post dose for pharmacokinetic analysis. Tolerability was evaluated throughout the entire study period.
The nanocrystal formulation of megestrol acetate was rapidly absorbed in both the fed and fasting states. In the fed state, systemic exposure was comparable between the nanocrystal formulation of megestrol acetate and Megace ® OS. In the fasting state, however, the peak plasma concentration and area under the plasma concentration-time curve to the last measurable concentration of megestrol acetate was 6.7-fold and 1.9-fold higher, respectively, for the nanocrystal formulation than for Megace ® OS. No serious adverse events were reported.