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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1998 Aug;42(8):2017-23.

Population pharmacokinetics of rifabutin in human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients.

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  • 11st Department of Infectious Diseases, University of Genoa, Genoa, San Matteo Hospital, Pavia, Italy.


Rifabutin pharmacokinetics were studied by the population approach (NONMEM) with 40 human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients receiving rifabutin at different doses for prophylaxis or therapy of mycobacterial infections. A two-compartment open model with first-order absorption was used as the structural pharmacokinetic model. Parameter estimates were the absorption rate constant (0. 201/h), clearance/bioavailability (CL/F; 60.9 liters/h), volume of the central compartment/bioavailability (231 liters), intercompartmental clearance (60.3 liters/h), and volume of the peripheral compartment/bioavailability (Vp/F; 1,050 liters). The distribution and elimination half-lives were 1.24 and 25.4 h, respectively. The covariates tested for influence on CL/F and Vp/F were sex, age, weight, height, body surface area, tobacco smoking, drug addiction, alanine aminotransferase levels, creatinine clearance, total protein, bilirubin, numbers of CD4(+) cells, presence of diarrhea, cachexia index, rifabutin use (prophylaxis versus therapy), rifabutin dose, study site, and the concomitant administration of clarithromycin, fluconazole, phenobarbital, ciprofloxacin, azithromycin, or benzodiazepines. The only statistically significant effects on rifabutin pharmacokinetic parameters were a 27% decrease in Vp/F due to the concomitant administration of azithromycin and a 39% increase in Vp/F due to tobacco smoking. Such effects may be considered clinically unimportant. Our results confirm the lack of a correlation of rifabutin pharmacokinetic parameters with parameters of disease progression and gastrointestinal function. Also, the lack of a correlation with covariates which were previously found to be significant, such as concomitant fluconazole and clarithromycin use, may suggest that the effect of such covariates may be less important in the real clinical setting, in which several concomitant factors may influence pharmacokinetic parameters, with an overall effect of no apparent correlation.

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