Pharmacokinetics of zidovudine administered intravenously and orally in children with human immunodeficiency virus infection

Frank M. Balis, Phillip A. Pizzo, Janie Eddy, Cathy Wilfert, Ross McKinney, Gwendolyn Scott, Robert F. Murphy, Paul F. Jarosinski, Judy Falloon, David G. Poplack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Zidovudine pharmacokinetics were determined in 16 children with human immunodeficiency virus infection who were being treated intravenously and orally on an intermittent schedule (every 6 hours). The intravenous doses studied were 80 (n=3), 120 (n=4), and 160 (n=5) mg/m2/dose, infused over 1 hour. Fourteen patients were monifored after an oral dose of zidovudine at 120 (n=2), 180 (n=7), or 240 (n=5) mg/m2/dose. Zidovudine was assayed with a reverse-phase high-pressure liquid chromatography method. Zidovudine disapperance after intravenous administration was rapid and blexponential, with half-lives of 14 and 90 minutes and a total clearance of 641±161 ml/min/m2. The volume of distribution at steady state was 45±28 L/m2. These pharmacokinetics parameters are very similar to those reported in adults. When administered orally, zidovudine was rapidly absorbed. The fraction of the oral dose that was bioavailable was 0.68±0.25, so that a 50% increment in the dose, in the conversion from intravenous to oral administration, resulted in plasma zidovudine concentrations after oral dosing that were nearly identical to those achieved with the 1-hour intravenous infusion. However, a dose of 180 mg/m2 given orally every 6 hours maintained plasma zidovudine concentrations in the target range of 1 μmol/L for less than half of the dosing interval. Other schedules, routes of administration, or oral drug formulations may have to be considered if sustained continuous exposure to micromolar zidovudine concentrations is desired.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)880-884
Number of pages5
JournalThe Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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