Triazole antifungals used for prophylaxis and treatment of invasive fungal disease in adult haematology patients: Trough serum concentrations in relation to outcome

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Abstract

Triazole antifungal drugs are widely used for the prophylaxis and treatment of invasive fungal disease (IFD). Efficacy may depend on attaining minimum effective plasma concentrations. The aim of this study was to ascertain the proportion of samples in which the recommended concentrations were achieved in patients given these drugs in relation to outcome. In-patients prescribed standard doses of fluconazole, itraconazole solution, posaconazole suspension, or oral voriconazole for at least one week were studied. Pre-dose serum triazole concentrations were measured using validated methods. There were 359 samples from 90 patients. The median (range) number of samples per patient was 3 (1-13), and the median (range) fluconazole, itraconazole, posaconazole (prophylaxis), posaconazole (treatment), and voriconazole serum concentrations were 5.64 (0.11-18), 0.57 (0-5.3), 0.31 (0.02-2.5), 0.65 (0.02-2.5), and 0.95 (0.10-5.4) mg/l, respectively. The number of samples in which the recommended pre-dose concentrations were achieved was 98 (54%), 9 (20%), 2 (18%), and 29 (49%) for itraconazole, posaconazole (>0.7 mg/l prophylaxis), posaconazole (treatment), and voriconazole, respectively. No significant differences were detected in the median triazole trough concentrations between patients with proven/probable IFD compared to those with no evidence of IFD. However, itraconazole was not detected in 10 samples (7 patients). The small number of patients who achieved the recommended trough posaconazole concentrations may explain the high rate of break-through IFD observed in patients prescribed this drug. Except for fluconazole, the number of patients prescribed standard doses of triazoles who achieved recommended trough triazole concentrations was low. The prospective use of serum triazole measurements assay may have improved outcomes with itraconazole, posaconazole, and with voriconazole.

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