Concomitant rifampicin-containing tuberculosis treatment reduced apparent efavirenz clearance with a corresponding increase in efavirenz exposure.
Drug interactions are of concern when treating patients co-infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and tuberculosis. Concomitant use of efavirenz (EFV) with the enzyme inducer rifampicin might be expected to increase EFV clearance. We investigated the influence of concomitant tuberculosis treatment on the plasma clearance of EFV.
Fifty-eight patients were randomized to receive their EFV-containing antiretroviral therapy either during or after tuberculosis treatment. Steady-state EFV plasma concentrations (n = 209 samples) were measured, 83 in the presence of rifampicin. Data were analyzed using a non-linear mixed effects model, and the model was evaluated using non-parametric bootstrap and visual predictive checks.
The patients had a median age of 32 (range 19–55) years and 43.1% were women. There was a bimodal distribution of apparent clearance, with slow EFV metabolizers accounting for 23.6% of the population and having a metabolic capacity 36.4% of that of the faster metabolizers. Apparent EFV clearance after oral administration in fast metabolizers was 12.9 L/h/70 kg whilst off tuberculosis treatment and 9.1 L/h/70 kg when on tuberculosis treatment. In slow metabolizers, the clearance estimates were 3.3 and 4.7 L/h/70 kg in the presence and absence of TB treatment, respectively. Overall there was a 29.5% reduction in EFV clearance during tuberculosis treatment.
Unexpectedly, concomitant rifampicin-containing tuberculosis treatment reduced apparent EFV clearance with a corresponding increase in EFV exposure. While the reasons for this interaction require further investigation, cytochrome P450 2B6 polymorphisms in the population studied may provide some explanation.
Tanuja N. Gengiah, Nicholas H. G. Holford, Julia H. Botha, Andrew L. Gray, Kogieleum Naidoo and Salim S. Abdool Karim
Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in
Department of Pharmacology & Clinical Pharmacology, , Auckland, New Zealand
Department of Therapeutics and Medicines Management, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, Columbia, NY, USA
Eur J Clin Pharmacol