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Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 1994;46(2):147-50.

Influence of concomitant food intake on the oral absorption of two triazole antifungal agents, itraconazole and fluconazole.

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Pfizer/MACK Research and Development Laboratories, Illertissen, Germany.


The influence of food on the pharmacokinetics of the triazole antimycotics fluconazole and itraconazole was investigated in a randomised, parallel group, single dose study in 24 healthy subjects. Each group took either a 100 mg capsule of fluconazole or a 100 mg capsule of itraconazole, pre-prandially or after a light meal or a full meal, in a three-way crossover design. Gastric and intestinal pH were measured with a co-administered radiotelemetric pH capsule, and gastric emptying time of the capsule (GET) was taken as the maximum gastric residence time of drug and food. The plasma AUC and Cmax of itraconazole were significantly different under the various conditions and the mean AUC was greatest after the full meal. The bioavailability (90% confidence intervals) of itraconazole relative to that after the full meal, was 54% (41-77%) on an empty stomach and 86% (65-102%) after a light meal. The criteria for bioequivalence were not attained. In contrast, the bioavailability (90% CI) of fluconazole relative to the full meal was 110% pre-prandially (100-115%) and 102% after the light meal (88-103%), and the criteria for bioequivalence were attained. Itraconazole absorption was promoted by low stomach pH, long gastric retention time and a high fat content of the coadministered meal, whereas the pharmacokinetics of fluconazole was relatively insensitive to physiological changes in the gastrointestinal tract.

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