Shedding a Light on Acyclovir Pharmacodynamics: A Retrospective Analysis on Pharmacokinetic/Pharmacodynamic Modelling of Acyclovir for the Treatment of Varicella Zoster Virus Infection in Immunocompromised Patients: A Pilot Study

Geeske F. Grit, Anne Grete Märtson, Marjolein Knoester, Marlous L. Toren-Wielema, Daan J. Touw*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Background: Acyclovir and valacyclovir are used for the treatment and prophylaxis of infections with herpes simplex virus (HSV) and varicella zoster virus (VZV). The aim of this study is to provide insight into the pharmacodynamics (PD) of (val)acyclovir. Methods: Patients were retrospectively selected, based on therapeutic drug monitoring for acyclovir, to create a population pharmacokinetic (PK) model in Pmetrics. This PK model was used to develop a PK/PD model to study the effect of acyclovir levels on VZV viral load in plasma in immunocompromised patients. Results: Immunocompromised patients with known VZV viral loads in plasma were included for PK/PD modelling (N = 4, with 23 measure points); they were part of the population of 43 patients used for PK model building. The PK/PD model described the data well (r2 = 0.83). This is a hopeful first step in clarifying the pharmacodynamics of acyclovir; however, the data in this study are limited. Conclusions: Our preliminary PK/PD model can be used in further research to determine the effect of acyclovir levels on VZV viral load.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2311
Number of pages6
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov-2022


  • acyclovir
  • pharmacodynamics
  • pharmacokinetics
  • PKPD modeling
  • varicella zoster virus

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