Objective: Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) are drugs that exhibit both estrogen agonistic and antagonistic effects that are tissue-specific. Ospemifene (FC-1271a) is a novel SERM compound, which has been shown in animal models to have estrogen-like effects on bone and the cardiovascular system, while having antiestrogen-like effects in uterus and breast. In this study, we investigated the effects of ospemifene on the uterine endometrium, vaginal maturation index and hormonal status in healthy postmenopausal women. Methods: The study was conducted as a double-blind, placebo-controlled phase I study, where 40 healthy postmenopausal women volunteers were randomized to receive daily oral doses of ospemifene either 25, 50, 100 or 200 mg or placebo for 12 weeks. Vaginal ultrasonography and endometrial biopsy were performed and vaginal maturation index determined at baseline and at 12 weeks' visit. Serum concentrations of estradiol, luteinizing hormone, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), sex-hormone binding globulin (SHBG), parathyroid hormone and prolactin were determined from samples taken at baseline, at 4 days and at 4, 12, and 16 weeks' visits. Climacteric symptoms were assessed using 12 visual analogue scales (VAS) at baseline and at the end of the study. Results: No clinically significant changes were seen in endometrial thickness at any dose level. Ospemifene exerted a very weak estrogenic effect on endometrial histology. On the other hand, it induced a clear estrogenic effect on vaginal epithelium. Among the endocrine parameters only FSH and SHBG showed significant dose dependent changes; FSH decreased and SHBG increased during the treatment. In general, ospemifene was well tolerated. The 25 and 50 mg doses tended to reduce climacteric symptoms, but no statistically significant differences were observed between different doses of ospemifene and placebo. The highest dose level (200 mg) induced more subjective adverse reactions, especially hot flushes, than lower doses. Conclusion: Our study suggests that a safe and well tolerated dose of ospemifene for potential clinical use may be between 25 and 100 mg. Further studies are needed to substantiate the results of this Phase I pilot study.
- Phase I study
- Postmenopausal women
- Selective estrogen receptor modulators
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology