Rifampin pharmacokinetics in children, with and without human immunodeficiency virus infection, hospitalized for the management of severe forms of tuberculosis
1 Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Children's Hospital, PO Box 19063, Tygerberg 7505, South Africa
2 Department of Human Nutrition, Faculty of Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Tygerberg 7505, South Africa
3 Division of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics and the Medical Research Council Centre for Molecular and Cellular Biology, Department of Science and Technology/National Research Foundation Centre of Excellence for Biomedical Tuberculosis Research, Faculty of Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, PO Box 19063, Tygerberg 7505, South Africa
4 Institute of Infectious Diseases and Molecular Medicine, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa
5 Division of Clinical Pharmacology, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa
6 Knowledge Systems, Human Sciences Research Council, Private Bag X9182, Cape Town 8000, South Africa
BMC Medicine 2009, 7:19 doi:10.1186/1741-7015-7-19Published: 22 April 2009
Rifampin is a key drug in antituberculosis chemotherapy because it rapidly kills the majority of bacilli in tuberculosis lesions, prevents relapse and thus enables 6-month short-course chemotherapy. Little is known about the pharmacokinetics of rifampin in children. The objective of this study was to evaluate the pharmacokinetics of rifampin in children with tuberculosis, both human immunodeficiency virus type-1-infected and human immunodeficiency virus-uninfected.
Fifty-four children, 21 human immunodeficiency virus-infected and 33 human immunodeficiency virus-uninfected, mean ages 3.73 and 4.05 years (P = 0.68), respectively, admitted to a tuberculosis hospital in Cape Town, South Africa with severe forms of tuberculosis were studied approximately 1 month and 4 months after commencing antituberculosis treatment. Blood specimens for analysis were drawn in the morning, 45 minutes, 1.5, 3.0, 4.0 and 6.0 hours after dosing. Rifampin concentrations were determined by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. For two sample comparisons of means, the Welch version of the t-test was used; associations between variables were examined by Pearson correlation and by multiple linear regression.
The children received a mean rifampin dosage of 9.61 mg/kg (6.47 to 15.58) body weight at 1 month and 9.63 mg/kg (4.63 to 17.8) at 4 months after commencing treatment administered as part of a fixed-dose formulation designed for paediatric use. The mean rifampin area under the curve 0 to 6 hours after dosing was 14.9 and 18.1 μg/hour/ml (P = 0.25) 1 month after starting treatment in human immunodeficiency virus-infected and human immunodeficiency virus-uninfected children, respectively, and 16.52 and 17.94 μg/hour/ml (P = 0.59) after 4 months of treatment. The mean calculated 2-hour rifampin concentrations in these human immunodeficiency virus-infected and human immunodeficiency virus-uninfected children were 3.9 and 4.8 μg/ml (P = 0.20) at 1 month after the start of treatment and 4.0 and 4.6 μg/ml (P = 0.33) after 4 months of treatment. These values are considerably less than the suggested lower limit for 2-hour rifampin concentrations in adults of 8.0 μg/ml and even 4 μg/ml
Both human immunodeficiency virus-infected and human immunodeficiency virus-uninfected children with tuberculosis have very low rifampin serum concentrations after receiving standard rifampin dosages similar to those used in adults. Pharmacokinetic studies of higher dosages of rifampin are urgently needed in children to assist in placing the dosage of rifampin used in childhood on a more scientific foundation.