Comparative pharmacokinetics of voriconazole administered orally as either crushed or whole tablets

  • Dodds Ashley E
  • Zaas A
  • Fang A
 et al. 
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Voriconazole is a triazole antifungal agent used to treat serious, invasive fungal infections including aspergillosis and candidemia. Limitations with existing formulations of voriconazole including restricted utility in patients with renal dysfunction (intravenous preparation) and the unavailability of an oral suspension in some countries make the administration of crushed tablets desirable in many clinical scenarios. However, concerns that this approach may alter the systemic absorption of voriconazole exist. Therefore, an open-label, randomized, two-way crossover comparative pharmacokinetic (PK) study using healthy volunteers was performed to compare these methods of tablet administration. In a random sequence, subjects received voriconazole tablets either crushed or whole. The voriconazole dose was 400 mg every 12 h for 1 day orally followed by 200 mg every 12 h orally for 5.5 days. Study periods were separated by 7 days. PK parameters were determined by the noncompartmental method. An equivalence approach with no-effect boundaries of 80 to 125% was used to assess bioequivalence. Twenty healthy subjects (10 males; aged 20 to 43 years) were enrolled in and completed the study. The adjusted mean areas under the plasma concentration-time curve from 0 to tau, where tau equals 12 h, for the crushed and whole tablet groups were 9,793 and 11,164 ng . h/ml, respectively (ratio, 87.72; 90% confidence interval [CI], 80.97, 95.04). The ratio of the maximum concentration of drug in serum for the crushed tablet versus whole tablet arms was 94.94 (90% CI, 86.51, 104.22). The only difference noted between groups was a slightly faster time to maximum concentration of drug in serum when subjects received crushed tablets, 0.5 h versus 1.5 h (90% CI, -0.75, -0.25). Treatment-related adverse events occurred in 12 subjects receiving whole tablets and 9 subjects receiving crushed tablets; all were mild. The administration of crushed voriconazole tablets is bioequivalent to whole-tablet administration.

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  • E. S. Dodds Ashley

  • A. K. Zaas

  • A. F. Fang

  • B. Damle

  • J. R. Perfect

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