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Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2004 Dec;76(6):579-87.

The effect of clarithromycin, fluconazole, and rifabutin on dapsone hydroxylamine formation in individuals with human immunodeficiency virus infection (AACTG 283).

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University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.



Dapsone hydroxylamine formation is thought to be the cause of the high rates of adverse reactions to dapsone in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals. Therefore we studied the effect of the commonly coadministered drugs fluconazole, clarithromycin, and rifabutin on hydroxylamine formation in individuals with HIV infection.


HIV-infected subjects (CD4 + > or =200 cells/mm 3 ) were enrolled in a 2-part (A or B) open-label drug interaction study. In part A, subjects (n = 12) received dapsone (100-mg tablet once daily) alone for 2 weeks and then, in a randomly assigned order, received dapsone and either fluconazole (200 mg daily), rifabutin (300 mg daily), or fluconazole plus rifabutin, each for a 2-week period. Part B (n = 11) was identical to part A except that clarithromycin (500 mg twice daily) was substituted for rifabutin. On the last study day of each 2-week period, plasma and urine were collected over ascorbic acid for 24 hours.


In part A, fluconazole decreased the area under the plasma concentration-time curve, percent of dose excreted in 24-hour urine, and formation clearance of the hydroxylamine by 49%, 53%, and 55% (n = 12, P < .05), respectively. This inhibition of in vivo hydroxylamine formation was quantitatively consistent with that predicted from human liver microsomal experiments. Rifabutin had no effect on hydroxylamine area under the plasma concentration-time curve or percent excreted in 24-hour urine but increased formation clearance of the hydroxylamine by 92% (n = 12, P < .05). Dapsone clearance was increased by rifabutin or rifabutin plus fluconazole (67% and 38%, respectively) (n = 12, P < .05) but was unaffected by fluconazole or clarithromycin. In part B, hydroxylamine production was unaffected by clarithromycin but was affected by fluconazole in a manner identical to that in part A.


On the basis of these data and with the assumption that the exposure to the hydroxylamine is a determinant of dapsone toxicity, we predict that coadministration of fluconazole should decrease the rate of adverse reactions to dapsone in persons with HIV infection but that rifabutin and clarithromycin will have no effect. When dapsone is given in combination with rifabutin, dapsone dosage adjustment may be necessary in light of the increase in dapsone clearance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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