Hormones are a part of everyday life and are routinely measured in clinical laboratories. They also have a wide range of physiological effects, and changing hormone concentrations can have immense consequences at various life stages such as puberty, pregnancy, and menopause.

Adding nuance to the picture, synthetic hormones are often administered exogenously in situations such as hormone replace therapy following menopause, to enhance physical performance for sporting purposes, and in gender-affirming hormone therapy. The impact these hormone therapies have on testing strategies or pharmacokinetics is not clearly understood.

Today, Claire Knezevic, PhD, and Mark Marzinke, PhD, will present a session, “Impact of Hormones on Drug Testing: From the Bench to the Bedside.” The session will take a closer look at these issues and the role of the clinical laboratory in collaborating with clinical colleagues.

In particular, the speakers will explore the impact of synthetic hormones and what this means for testing in the clinical laboratory. This issue is critical because “therapeutic compounds are associated with drug-drug interactions, and such interactions may lead to toxicity or decreased efficacy,” Marzinke says. “We wanted to think about the relationships between compounds as they relate to synthetic hormones, including those used in gender-affirming hormonal therapies and hormonal contraception.”

They also will underscore the potential impact synthetic hormones can have for patients taking drug in the antiretrovirals, antiepileptics, and antidepressants classes.

The speakers are working to characterize novel drug-hormone interactions, and, it’s easy to see how this would translate to benefit patient care. As polypharmacy becomes more common, the likelihood of significant drug-drug interactions will only increase, Marzinke says. “Laboratorians may need to become more knowledgeable in this area, especially as it relates to therapeutic drug monitoring or pharmacodynamic assessments.”

Attendees are sure to gain new insights from both speakers working on this important area of laboratory medicine.