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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2016 Mar 25;60(4):2171-9. doi: 10.1128/AAC.02600-15. Print 2016 Apr.

Pharmacokinetics of Rifampin, Isoniazid, Pyrazinamide, and Ethambutol in Infants Dosed According to Revised WHO-Recommended Treatment Guidelines.

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Desmond Tutu TB Center, Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Desmond Tutu TB Center, Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa.
Department of Clinical Research, Global Alliance for TB Drug Development, New York, New York, USA.
Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Department of Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.


There are limited pharmacokinetic data for use of the first-line antituberculosis drugs during infancy (<12 months of age), when drug disposition may differ. Intensive pharmacokinetic sampling was performed in infants routinely receiving antituberculosis treatment, including rifampin, isoniazid, pyrazinamide, and ethambutol, using World Health Organization-recommended doses. Regulatory-approved single-drug formulations, including two rifampin suspensions, were used on the sampling day. Assays were conducted using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry; pharmacokinetic parameters were generated using noncompartmental analysis. Thirty-nine infants were studied; 14 (36%) had culture-confirmed tuberculosis. Fifteen (38%) were premature (<37 weeks gestation); 5 (13%) were HIV infected. The mean corrected age and weight were 6.6 months and 6.45 kg, respectively. The mean maximum plasma concentrations (Cmax) for rifampin, isoniazid, pyrazinamide, and ethambutol were 2.9, 7.9, 41.9, and 1.3 μg/ml, respectively (current recommended adult target concentrations: 8 to 24, 3 to 6, 20 to 50, and 2 to 6 μg/ml, respectively), and the mean areas under the concentration-time curves from 0 to 8 h (AUC0-8) were 12.1, 24.7, 239.4, and 5.1 μg · h/ml, respectively. After adjusting for age and weight, rifampin exposures for the two formulations used differed inCmax(geometric mean ratio [GMR],2.55; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.47 to 4.41;P= 0.001) and AUC0-8(GMR, 2.52; 95% CI, 1.34 to 4.73;P= 0.005). HIV status was associated with lower pyrazinamideCmax(GMR, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.75 to 0.96;P= 0.013) and AUC0-8(GMR, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.69 to 0.90;P< 0.001) values. No other important differences were observed due to age, weight, prematurity, ethnicity, or gender. In summary, isoniazid and pyrazinamide concentrations in infants compared well with proposed adult target concentrations; ethambutol concentrations were lower but similar to previously reported pediatric studies. The low rifampin exposures require further investigation. (This study has been registered at under registration no. NCT01637558.).

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