Drugs. 2023 Jan 6. doi: 10.1007/s40265-022-01819-8. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Posaconazole is widely used for the prophylaxis and treatment of invasive fungal diseases. Because of the limited and variable absorption of the initially available oral suspension, a delayed-release tablet and intravenous formulation were developed.
OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to characterize the pharmacokinetics, including the absolute oral bioavailability, of all posaconazole formulations in healthy volunteers.
METHODS: Data from 182 healthy volunteers with 3898 densely sampled posaconazole concentrations were pooled from eight phase I clinical studies on the three formulations of various single and multiple dosage regimens between 50 and 400 mg. Analysis and simulations were performed using NONMEM 7.5.0. In the covariate analysis, the influence of food (fed vs fasted), nonlinearity, and for the delayed-release tablet, comedication (antacid, ranitidine, esomeprazole, and metoclopramide) were tested.
RESULTS: A two-compartment model with respectively, four and eight absorption transit compartments, best described the profiles of the oral suspension and delayed-release tablet. For the suspension, both a food effect and a dose-dependent nonlinear bioavailability were quantified, resulting in lower bioavailability when fasted or at a higher dose. The typical bioavailability of the suspension at 100 mg and 400 mg was derived to be respectively, 17.1% and 10.1% under fasted conditions and 59.1% and 49.2% under fed conditions. The absolute bioavailability of the delayed-release tablet was 58.8% (95% confidence interval 33.2-80.4) under fasted conditions and approached complete absorption under fed conditions for dosages up to 300 mg. Food intake reduced the absorption rate constant of the suspension by 52.2% (confidence interval 45.2-59.2). The impact of comedication on the absorption of the delayed-release tablet was not statistically significant. Model-based simulations indicate that under fed conditions, the licensed dosages of the three formulations yield a steady-state trough concentration ≥ 0.7 mg/L in over 90% of healthy volunteers. About 35% of healthy volunteers who receive the licensed 300-mg delayed-release tablet under fasted conditions do not achieve this target, while for the suspension this percentage varies between 55 and 85%, depending on the dose.
CONCLUSIONS: For both oral posaconazole formulations, we quantified bioavailability and absorption rate, including food effects, in healthy volunteers. The pharmacokinetic superiority of the delayed-release tablet was demonstrated under both fed and fasted conditions, compared with the oral suspension. The impact of food on the bioavailability of the delayed-release tablet was larger than anticipated, suggesting that administering the delayed-release tablet with food enhances absorption.