Serum pharmacokinetics of orally administered desogestrel and binding of contraceptive progestogens to sex hormone-binding globulin.Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1990 Dec; 163(6 Pt 2):2132-7.AJ
Serum levels of 3-ketodesogestrel and ethinyl estradiol were analyzed by radioimmunoassay in a balanced crossover study with two tablet formulations containing desogestrel (0.150 mg) and ethinyl estradiol (0.030 mg) in 25 women under steady-state conditions after 21 days of treatment. The pharmacokinetic properties of desogestrel were characterized by the following parameters: (1) maximum serum concentration, (2) time to maximum serum concentration, (3) total area under the serum concentration versus time curve, and (4) serum half-life of elimination. The interindividual variation in these parameters was comparable with that observed with other contraceptive combinations containing ethinyl estradiol and norethisterone, levonorgestrel, or gestodene. The serum distribution of contraceptive progestogens is known to be determined by their affinity to sex hormone-binding globulin and the concentration of sex hormone-binding globulin. We analyzed the structural features that determine binding to sex hormone-binding globulin. The 18-methyl group increased and the 11-methylene group weakened the binding to sex hormone-binding globulin. The double bond at C-15 reinforced the binding only when combined with an 18-methyl group. Therefore, the binding of levonorgestrel (the 18-methyl derivative of norethisterone) and gestodene (the delta-15,18 methyl derivative of norethisterone) to sex hormone-binding globulin was much stronger than that of 3-keto-desogestrel and norethisterone.