Pharmacokinetic evaluations of low- and high-dose zidovudine plus high-dose acyclovir in patients with symptomatic human immunodeficiency virus infection

Tartaglione, T.A.; Collier, A.C.; Opheim, K.; Gianola, F.G.; Benedetti, J.; Corey, L.

Antimicrobial Agents and ChemoTherapy 35(11): 2225-2231


ISSN/ISBN: 0066-4804
PMID: 1803995
DOI: 10.1128/aac.35.11.2225
Accession: 040956367

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The pharmacokinetics of zidovudine were evaluated in 41 patients with Centers for Disease Control HIV class IVA infection. The patients were assigned escalating doses of zidovudine (300, 600, or 1,500 mg daily) and were randomized to receive either zidovudine alone or zidovudine with a high dose of acyclovir (4,800 mg per day). Single and multiple intravenous- and oral-dose pharmacokinetic studies were performed on days 1 and 7 and weeks 6 and 12 of therapy. Zidovudine concentrations were analyzed by high-pressure liquid chromatography. Pharmacokinetic parameters were estimated by noncompartmental methods. Zidovudine concentrations in serum declined in a biphasic manner, with half-lives ranging from 1 to 2 h, and were independent of acyclovir administration or length of zidovudine therapy. The median time of peak concentrations in serum following oral doses was 0.75 h (range, 0.25 to 3 h). Accumulation of zidovudine in serum was not observed, but the maximum concentration of drug in serum (Cmax) and the area under the concentration-time curve increased proportionally with increased zidovudine doses. Mean day 7 oral Cmax values were 0.20 +/- 0.12, 0.55 +/- 0.33, and 1.0 +/- 0.5 micrograms/ml for 17 patients receiving total daily doses of, respectively, 300, 600, and 1,500 mg of zidovudine alone, whereas Cmax values were, respectively, 0.27 +/- 0.18, 0.43 +/- 0.33, and 1.2 +/- 0.80 micrograms/ml for 15 comparably treated recipients of zidovudine plus acyclovir (P was not significant). The median bioavailability of oral zidovudine was 67% (42 to 120%) and did not vary with dosage. Absolute and apparent total body clearances were similar among the patients given the various zidovudine doses regardless of whether there was concomitant acyclovir therapy. Drug-related toxicities were observed more frequently in the subjects who received high doses of zidovudine than they were in those who received median and low doses of zidovudine (P=0.03). Overall, acyclovir did not influence the disposition of zidovudine over a wide range of zidovudine doses. No unusual toxicities could be attributed to the zidovudine and high-dose acyclovir combination during the 12-week observation period.