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OBJECTIVES:Extensive but fragmented data from existing studies were used to describe the drug-drug interaction between rifabutin and HIV PIs and predict doses achieving recommended therapeutic exposure for rifabutin in patients with HIV-associated TB, with concurrently administered PIs. METHODS:Individual-level data from 13 published studies were pooled and a population analysis approach was used to develop a pharmacokinetic model for rifabutin, its main active metabolite 25-O-desacetyl rifabutin (des-rifabutin) and drug-drug interaction with PIs in healthy volunteers and patients who had HIV and TB (TB/HIV). RESULTS:Key parameters of rifabutin affected by drug-drug interaction in TB/HIV were clearance to routes other than des-rifabutin (reduced by 76%-100%), formation of the metabolite (increased by 224% in patients), volume of distribution (increased by 606%) and distribution to the peripheral compartment (reduced by 47%). For des-rifabutin, clearance was reduced by 35%-76% and volume of distribution increased by 67%-240% in TB/HIV. These changes resulted in overall increased exposure to rifabutin in TB/HIV patients by 210% because of the effects of PIs and 280% with ritonavir-boosted PIs. CONCLUSIONS:Given together with non-boosted or ritonavir-boosted PIs, rifabutin at 150 mg once daily results in similar or higher exposure compared with rifabutin at 300 mg once daily without concomitant PIs and may achieve peak concentrations within an acceptable therapeutic range. Although 300 mg of rifabutin every 3 days with boosted PI achieves an average equivalent exposure, intermittent doses of rifamycins are not supported by current guidelines.

Original publication




Journal article


The Journal of antimicrobial chemotherapy

Publication Date





1330 - 1340


School of Pharmacy, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia Department of Pharmaceutical Bioscience, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden


Humans, Tuberculosis, HIV Infections, Rifabutin, HIV Protease Inhibitors, Antitubercular Agents, Anti-HIV Agents, Drug Interactions, Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Middle Aged, Female, Male, Young Adult, Healthy Volunteers