Analysis of the mechanism of prolonged persistence of drug interaction between terbinafine and amitriptyline or nortriptyline

Akiko Mikami, Satoko Hori, Hisakazu Ohtani, Yasufumi Sawada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The purpose of the study was to quantitatively estimate and predict drug interactions between terbinafine and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), amitriptyline or nortriptyline, based on in vitro studies. Inhibition of TCA-metabolizing activity by terbinafine was investigated using human liver microsomes. Based on the unbound Ki values obtained in vitro and reported pharmacokinetic parameters, a pharmacokinetic model of drug interaction was fitted to the reported plasma concentration profiles of TCAs administered concomitantly with terbinafine to obtain the drug–drug interaction parameters. Then, the model was used to predict nortriptyline plasma concentration with concomitant administration of terbinafine and changes of area under the curve (AUC) of nortriptyline after cessation of terbinafine. The CYP2D6 inhibitory potency of terbinafine was unaffected by preincubation, so the inhibition seems to be reversible. Terbinafine competitively inhibited amitriptyline or nortriptyline E-10-hydroxylation, with unbound Ki values of 13.7 and 12.4 nM, respectively. Observed plasma concentrations of TCAs administered concomitantly with terbinafine were successfully simulated with the drug interaction model using the in vitro parameters. Model-predicted nortriptyline plasma concentration after concomitant nortriptylene/terbinafine administration for two weeks exceeded the toxic level, and drug interaction was predicted to be prolonged; the AUC of nortriptyline was predicted to be increased by 2.5- or 2.0- and 1.5-fold at 0, 3 and 6 months after cessation of terbinafine, respectively. The developed model enables us to quantitatively predict the prolonged drug interaction between terbinafine and TCAs. The model should be helpful for clinical management of terbinafine-CYP2D6 substrate drug interactions, which are difficult to predict due to their time-dependency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1010-1020
Number of pages11
JournalBiological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Amitriptyline
  • CYP2D6
  • Drug interaction
  • Nortriptyline
  • Terbinafine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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