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Wang JS, DeVane CL. 
“Involvement of CYP3A4, CYP2C8, and CYP2D6 in the metabolism of (R)- and (S)-methadone in vitro”. 
Drug Metab Dispos. 2003 Jun;31(6):742-7.
To clarify the oxidative metabolism of methadone (R)- and (S)-enantiomers, the depletion of parent (R)- and (S)-methadone and the formation of racemic 2-ethylidene-1,5-dimethyl-3,3-diphe-nylpyrolidine were studied using human liver microsomes and recombinant cytochrome P450 enzymes. Based on studies with isoform-selective chemical inhibitors and expressed enzymes, CYP3A4 was the predominant enzyme involved in the metabolism of (R)-methadone. However, it has different stereoselectivity toward (R)- and (S)-methadone. In recombinant CYP3A4, the metabolic clearance of (R)-methadone was about 4-fold higher than that of (S)-methadone. CYP2C8 is also involved in the metabolism of methadone, but its contribution to the metabolism of (R)-methadone was smaller than that of CYP3A4. But for the metabolism of (S)-methadone, the roles of CYP2C8 and CYP3A4 appeared equal. Although CYP2D6 is involved in the metabolism of (R)- and (S)-methadone, its role was smaller compared with CYP3A4 and CYP2C8. Using clinically relevant concentrations of ketoconazole (1 microM, selective CYP3A4 inhibitor), trimethoprim (100 microM, selective CYP2C8 inhibitor), and paroxetine (5 microM, potent CYP2D6 inhibitor), these inhibitors decreased the hepatic metabolism of (R)-[(S)-]methadone by 69% (47%), 22% (51%), and 41% (77%), respectively. However, inhibition of the metabolism of (R)- and (S)-methadone by paroxetine was due to inhibition not only of CYP2D6, but also CYP3A4 and, to a minor extent, CYP2C8. The present in vitro findings indicated that CYP3A4, CYP2C8, and CYP2D6 are all involved in the stereoselective metabolism of methadone (R)- and (S)-enantiomers. These data suggest that coadministration of inhibitors of CYP3A4 and CYP2C8 may produce clinically significant drug-drug interactions with methadone.
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