Send to

Choose Destination
Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2007 Apr;63(4):438-50. Epub 2006 Oct 30.

A d-optimal designed population pharmacokinetic study of oral itraconazole in adult cystic fibrosis patients.

Author information

School of Pharmacy, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.



The primary objective of the study was to estimate the population pharmacokinetic parameters for itraconazole and hydroxy-itraconazole, in particular, the relative oral bioavailability of the capsule compared with solution in adult cystic fibrosis patients, in order to develop new dosing guidelines. A secondary objective was to evaluate the performance of a population optimal design.


The blood sampling times for the population study were optimized previously using POPT v.2.0. The design was based on the administration of solution and capsules to 30 patients in a cross-over study. Prior information suggested that itraconazole is generally well described by a two-compartment disposition model with either linear or saturable elimination. The pharmacokinetics of itraconazole and the metabolite were modelled simultaneously using NONMEM. Dosing schedules were simulated to assess their ability to achieve a trough target concentration of 0.5 mg ml(-1).


Out of 241 blood samples, 94% were taken within the defined optimal sampling windows. A two-compartment model with first order absorption and elimination best described itraconazole kinetics, with first order metabolism to the hydroxy-metabolite. For itraconazole the absorption rate constants (between-subject variability) for capsule and solution were 0.0315 h(-1) (91.9%) and 0.125 h(-1) (106.3%), respectively, and the relative bioavailability of the capsule was 0.82 (62.3%) (confidence interval 0.36, 1.97), compared with the solution. There was no evidence of nonlinearity. Simulations from the final model showed that a dosing schedule of 500 mg twice daily for both formulations provided the highest chance of target success.


The optimal design performed well and the pharmacokinetics of itraconazole and hydroxy-itraconazole were described adequately by the model. The relative bioavailability for itraconazole capsules was 82% compared with the solution.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center