Impact of Cytochrome P450 2D6 Function on the Chiral Blood Plasma Pharmacokinetics of 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and Its Phase I and II Metabolites in Humans

PloS One
Andrea E SteuerMatthias E Liechti


3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; ecstasy) metabolism is known to be stereoselective, with preference for S-stereoisomers. Its major metabolic step involves CYP2D6-catalyzed demethylenation to 3,4-dihydroxymethamphetamine (DHMA), followed by methylation and conjugation. Alterations in CYP2D6 genotype and/or phenotype have been associated with higher toxicity. Therefore, the impact of CYP2D6 function on the plasma pharmacokinetics of MDMA and its phase I and II metabolites was tested by comparing extensive metabolizers (EMs), intermediate metabolizers (IMs), and EMs that were pretreated with bupropion as a metabolic inhibitor in a controlled MDMA administration study. Blood plasma samples were collected from 16 healthy participants (13 EMs and three IMs) up to 24 h after MDMA administration in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, four-period, cross-over design, with subjects receiving 1 week placebo or bupropion pretreatment followed by a single placebo or MDMA (125 mg) dose. Bupropion pretreatment increased the maximum plasma concentration (Cmax) and area under the plasma concentration-time curve from 0 to 24 h (AUC24) of R-MDMA (9% and 25%, respectively) and S-MDMA (16% and 38%, respectively). Bupropion reduced the Cmax ...Continue Reading


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