In clinical practice, antifungal therapy may be switched from fluconazole to voriconazole; such sequential use poses the potential for drug interaction due to cytochrome P450 2C19 (CYP2C19)-mediated inhibition of voriconazole metabolism. This open-label, randomized, two-way crossover study investigated the effect of concomitant fluconazole on voriconazole pharmacokinetics in 10 subjects: 8 extensive metabolizers and 2 poor metabolizers of CYP2C19. The study consisted of 4-day voriconazole-only and 5-day voriconazole-plus-fluconazole treatments, separated by a 14-day washout. Voriconazole pharmacokinetics were determined by noncompartmental analyses. A physiologically based pharmacokinetic model was developed in Simcyp® (Simcyp Ltd., Sheffield, United Kingdom) to predict the magnitude of drug interaction should antifungal therapy be switched from fluconazole to voriconazole, following various simulated lag times for the switch. In CYP2C19 extensive metabolizers, fluconazole increased the maximum plasma concentration and the area under the plasma concentration-time curve (AUC) of voriconazole by 57% and 178%, respectively. In poor metabolizers, however, voriconazole pharmacokinetics were unaffected by fluconazole. The simulations based on pharmacokinetic modeling predicted that if voriconazole was started 6, 12, 24, or 36 h after the last dose of fluconazole, the voriconazole AUC ratios (sequential therapy versus voriconazole only) after the first dose would be 1.51, 1.41, 1.28, and 1.14, respectively. This suggests that the remaining systemic fluconazole would result in a marked drug interaction with voriconazole for ≥ 24 h. Although no safety issues were observed during coadministration, concomitant use of fluconazole and voriconazole is not recommended. Frequent monitoring for voriconazole-related adverse events is advisable if voriconazole is used sequentially after fluconazole.
November 1, 2011