Rifabutin pharmacokinetics and safety among TB/HIV-coinfected children receiving lopinavir/ritonavir-containing second-line ART

Holly E. Rawizza, Regina Oladokun, Emeka Ejeliogu, Stephen Oguche, Babatunde O. Ogunbosi, Oche Agbaji, Georgina Odaibo, Godwin Imade, David Olaleye, Lubbe Wiesner, Kristin M. Darin, Prosper Okonkwo, Phyllis J. Kanki, Kimberly K. Scarsi, Helen M. Mcilleron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Treatment options are limited for TB/HIV-coinfected children who require PI-based ART. Rifabutin is the preferred rifamycin for adults on PIs, but the one study evaluating rifabutin with PIs among children was stopped early due to severe neutropenia. Methods: We evaluated rifabutin safety and plasma pharmacokinetics among coinfected children 3-15 years of age receiving rifabutin 2.5 mg/kg daily with standard doses of lopinavir/ritonavir. The AUC0-24 at 2, 4 and 8 weeks after rifabutin initiation was described using intensive sampling and non-compartmental analysis. Clinical and laboratory toxicities were intensively monitored at 12 visits throughout the study. Results: Among 15 children with median (IQR) age 13.1 (10.9-14.0) years and weight 25.5 (22.3-30.5) kg, the median (IQR) rifabutin AUC0-24 was 5.21 (4.38-6.60) μg·h/mL. Four participants had AUC0-24 below 3.8 μg·h/mL (a target for the population average exposure) at week 2 and all had AUC0-24 higher than 3.8 μg·h/mL at the 4 and 8 week visits. Of 506 laboratory evaluations during rifabutin, grade 3 and grade 4 abnormalities occurred in 16 (3%) and 2 (0.4%) instances, respectively, involving 9 (60%) children. Specifically, grade 3 (n = 4) and grade 4 (n = 1) neutropenia resolved without treatment interruption or clinical sequelae in all patients. One child died at week 4 of HIV-related complications. Conclusions: In children, rifabutin 2.5 mg/kg daily achieved AUC0-24 comparable to adults and favourable HIV and TB treatment outcomes were observed. Severe neutropenia was relatively uncommon and improved with ongoing rifabutin therapy. These data support the use of rifabutin for TB/HIV-coinfected children who require lopinavir/ritonavir.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)710-717
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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