Understanding variability in posaconazole exposure using an integrated population pharmacokinetic analysis

Michael J. Dolton, Roger J.M. Brüggemann, David M. Burger, Andrew J. McLachlan

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62 Citations (Scopus)


Posaconazole oral suspension is widely used for antifungal prophylaxis and treatment in immunocompromised patients, with highly variable pharmacokinetics reported in patients due to inconsistent oral absorption. This study aimed to characterize the pharmacokinetics of posaconazole in adults and investigate factors that influence posaconazole pharmacokinetics byusing a population pharmacokinetic approach. Nonlinear mixed-effects modeling was undertaken for two posaconazole studies in patients and healthy volunteers. The influences of demographic and clinical characteristics, such as mucositis, diarrhea, and drugdrug interactions, on posaconazole pharmacokinetics were investigated using a stepwise forward inclusion/backwards deletion procedure. A total of 905 posaconazole concentration measurements from 102 participants were analyzed. A one-compartment pharmacokinetic model with first-order oral absorption with lag time and first-order elimination best described posaconazole pharmacokinetics. Posaconazole relative bioavailability was 55% lower in patients who received posaconazole than in healthy volunteers. Coadministration of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) or metoclopramide, as well as the occurrence of mucositis or diarrhea, reduced posaconazole relative bioavailability by 45%, 35%, 58%, and 45%, respectively, whereas concomitant ingestion of a nutritional supplement significantly increased bioavailability (129% relative increase). Coadministration of rifampin or phenytoin increased apparent posaconazole clearance by more than 600%, with a smaller increase observed with fosamprenavir (34%). Participant age, weight, or sex did not significantly affect posaconazole pharmacokinetics. Posaconazole absorption was reduced by a range of commonly coadministered medicines and clinical complications, such as mucositis and diarrhea. Avoidance of PPIs and metoclopramide and administration with food or a nutritional supplement are effective strategies to increase posaconazole absorption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6879-6885
Number of pages7
JournalAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes


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