Randomized pharmacokinetic evaluation of different rifabutin doses in African HIV- infected tuberculosis patients on lopinavir/ritonavir-based antiretroviral therapy


Pharmacokinetic interactions between rifampicin and protease inhibitors (PIs) complicate the management of HIV-associated tuberculosis. Rifabutin is an alternative rifamycin, for patients requiring PIs. Recently some international guidelines have recommended a higher dose of rifabutin (150 mg daily) in combination with boosted lopinavir (LPV/r), than the previous dose of rifabutin (150 mg three times weekly {tiw}). But there are limited pharmacokinetic data evaluating the higher dose of rifabutin in combination with LPV/r. Sub-optimal dosing can lead to acquired rifamycin resistance (ARR). The plasma concentration of 25-O-desacetylrifabutin (d-RBT), the metabolite of rifabutin, increases in the presence of PIs and may lead to toxicity.


Sixteen patients with TB-HIV co-infection received rifabutin 300 mg QD in combination with tuberculosis chemotherapy (initially pyrazinamide, isoniazid and ethambutol then only isoniazid), and were then randomized to receive isoniazid and LPV/r based ART with rifabutin 150 mg tiw or rifabutin 150 mg daily. The rifabutin dose with ART was switched after 1 month. Serial rifabutin and d-RBT concentrations were measured after 4 weeks of each treatment. The median AUC0-48 and Cmax of rifabutin in patients taking 150 mg rifabutin tiw was significantly reduced compared to the other treatment arms. Geometric mean ratio (90% CI) for AUC0-48 and Cmax was 0.6 (0.5-0.7) and 0.5 (0.4-0.6) for RBT 150 mg tiw compared with RBT 300 mg and 0.4 (0.4-0.4) and 0.5 (0.5-0.6) for RBT 150 mg tiw compared with 150 mg daily. 86% of patients on the tiw rifabutin arm had an AUC0-24 < 4.5 μg.h/mL, which has previously been associated with acquired rifamycin resistance (ARR). Plasma d-RBT concentrations increased 5-fold with tiw rifabutin dosing and 15-fold with daily doses of rifabutin. Rifabutin was well tolerated at all doses and there were no grade 4 laboratory toxicities. One case of uveitis (grade 4), occurred in a patient taking rifabutin 300 mg daily prior to starting ART, and grade 3 neutropenia (asymptomatic) was reported in 4 patients. These events were not associated with increases in rifabutin or metabolite concentrations.


A daily 150 mg dose of rifabutin in combination with LPV/r safely maintained rifabutin plasma concentrations in line with those shown to prevent ARR.


ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00640887.

S Naiker
C Connolly
L Wiesner
T Kellerman
T Reddy
A Harries
H McIlleron
C Lienhardt
A Pym
BMC Pharmacol Toxicol
Publication Date: 
November, 2014
IBN number: