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J Cyst Fibros. 2008 Jan;7(1):79-84. Epub 2007 Jun 27.

Pharmacokinetics and sputum penetration of azithromycin during once weekly dosing in cystic fibrosis patients.

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Central Hospital Pharmacy, Escamplaan 900, 2547EX The Hague, The Netherlands.


In this study we examined pharmacokinetics, systemic exposure and sputum penetration of azithromycin (AZM) in CF patients on chronic daily AZM therapy after changing to a once weekly dosing scheme. Eight adult CF patients using AZM 500 mg/day were changed to a once weekly dose of 1000 mg during 3 months. Once per month sputum and blood samples were collected. AZM was quantified in blood plasma and polymorphonuclear neutrophils. The cumulative weekly dose was reduced with a factor of 3.5 (7x500 mg vs. 1x1000 mg weekly). This led to a reduction in area under the curve (AUC+/-S.D.) with a factor of 2.5+/-0.8 in plasma, 2.8+/-0.9 in blood, 2.2+/-1.1 in PMNNs and to a reduction in average sputum concentration with a factor of 3.0 (+/-1.5). At 1000 mg once weekly reduced but still substantial concentrations were achieved in PMNNs and in sputum. Although not significant, a tendency towards less than linear reduction was found. In order to calculate and propose an optimal dosing scheme we need to establish a relation between exposure levels and clinical efficacy.

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