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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2009 Nov;81(5):747-53. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.2009.09-0214.

Sex affects the steady-state pharmacokinetics of primaquine but not doxycycline in healthy subjects.

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  • 1Department of Infectious Disease, Central Military Hospital, Hanoi, Vietnam.


We evaluated whether sex affects the steady-state pharmacokinetics of the antimalarial drugs, primaquine and doxycycline, in healthy subjects. Seventeen male and 17 female healthy Vietnamese subjects were administered 30 mg (base) of primaquine daily for 14 days. After a 2-week washout period, 14 male and 14 female subjects were administered 100 mg (base) of doxycycline daily for 14 days. Women had significantly higher median values of C(max) (212 versus 122 ng/mL, P< 0.001) and AUC(0-24) (1,909 versus 917 ng . h/mL, P < 0.001) of primaquine compared with men. Other than a longer t(max) in women, no sex-related differences were seen in the pharmacokinetics of doxycycline. The primaquine pharmacokinetic data suggest that women have increased exposure to primaquine, which may put them at increased risk for toxicity when administered the same maintenance dose as men. The similar pharmacokinetics of doxycycline between the two sexes justifies the same maintenance dose.

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