Pharmacokinetics of Rifampin and Clarithromycin in Patients Treated for Mycobacterium ulcerans Infection

J. W. C. Alffenaar*, W. A. Nienhuis, F. de Velde, A. T. Zuur, A. M. A. Wessels, D. Almeida, J. Grosset, O. Adjei, D. R. A. Uges, T. S. van der Werf

*Corresponding author for this work

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In a randomized controlled trial in Ghana, treatment of Mycobacterium ulcerans infection with streptomycin (SM)-rifampin (RIF) for 8 weeks was compared with treatment with SM-RIF for 4 weeks followed by treatment with RIF-clarithromycin (CLA) for 4 weeks. The extent of the interaction of RIF and CLA combined on the pharmacokinetics of the two compounds is unknown in this population and was therefore studied in a subset of patients. Patients received CLA at a dose of 7.5 mg/kg of body weight once daily, rounded to the nearest 125 mg. RIF was administered at a dose of 10 mg/kg, rounded to the nearest 150 mg. SM was given at a dose of 15 mg/kg once daily as an intramuscular injection. Plasma samples were drawn at steady state and analyzed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectroscopy. Pharmacokinetic parameters were calculated with the MW/Pharm (version 3.60) program. Comedication with CLA resulted in a 60% statistically nonsignificant increase in the area under the plasma concentration-time curve (AUC) for RIF of 25.8 mg . h/liter (interquartile ratio [IQR], 21.7 to 31.5 mg . h/liter), whereas the AUC of RIF was 15.2 mg . h/liter (IQR, 15.0 to 17.5 mg . h/liter) in patients comedicated with SM (P = 0.09). The median AUCs of CLA and 14-hydroxyclarithromycin (14OH-CLA) were 2.9 mg . h/liter (IQR, 1.5 to 3.8 mg . h/liter) and 8.0 mg . h/liter (IQR, 6.7 to 8.6 mg . h/liter), respectively. The median concentration of CLA was above the MIC of M. ulcerans, but that of 14OH-CLA was not. In further clinical studies, a dose of CLA of 7.5 mg/kg twice daily should be used (or with an extended-release formulation, 15 mg/kg should be used) to ensure higher levels of exposure to CLA and an increase in the time above the MIC compared to those achieved with the currently used dose of 7.5 mg/kg once daily.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3878-3883
Number of pages6
JournalAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep-2010


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