Altered steady state pharmacokinetics of levofloxacin in adult cystic fibrosis patients receiving calcium carbonate

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Background: Levofloxacin is used in adult patients with cystic fibrosis but its pharmacokinetics is not well characterized in this population. Patients with cystic fibrosis use calcium routinely to prevent osteoporosis. A slower intestinal transit time is common in cystic fibrosis implying that the standard 2-h spacing of minerals and levofloxacin to prevent a chelation interaction may be insufficient. The objectives of this study were to characterize the steady state pharmacokinetics of oral levofloxacin 750 mg with and without 2-h spaced calcium carbonate in patients with cystic fibrosis compared to matched healthy volunteers. Methods: In an open-label, randomized, cross-over study of five patients with cystic fibrosis and five age, sex, race, and serum creatinine matched healthy volunteers received 750 mg of oral levofloxacin alone daily for 5 days and the same dose of levofloxacin with 2-h spaced calcium carbonate supplementation 500 mg po thrice daily with meals in random sequence. Blood was collected for plasma assay of levofloxacin pre-dose, 0.5, 1, 1.5, 2, 4, 8, 12, and 24 h after the fifth levofloxacin dose. Results: There was no significant interaction in healthy volunteers, however, when cystic fibrosis patients were given levofloxacin with 2-h spaced calcium, the maximum plasma concentration (Cmax) decreased by 19% and time to Cmax increased by 37% (p < 0.05). This difference in peak concentrations resulted in a lack of bioequivalence (Cmax geometric mean ratio 81.6%, 90% confidence intervals: 71.8%, 91.4%) even when levofloxacin and calcium supplements were spaced by the standard 2 h administration instruction in patients with cystic fibrosis. Conclusions: These results indicate that multivalent cations such as calcium should be maximally separated from oral levofloxacin administration in adult patients with cystic fibrosis to prevent this drug interaction, thereby better optimizing antibiotic efficacy and decreasing the potential for resistance development. © 2006 European Cystic Fibrosis Society.




Pai, M. P., Allen, S. E., & Amsden, G. W. (2006). Altered steady state pharmacokinetics of levofloxacin in adult cystic fibrosis patients receiving calcium carbonate. Journal of Cystic Fibrosis, 5(3), 153–157.

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