Safety and pharmacokinetics of fluconazole in children with neoplastic diseases
To evaluate the safety, tolerance, and pharmacokinetics of fluconazole in children with neoplastic diseases, we studied fluconazole in 26 children, aged 5 to 15 years, with normal renal function who were receiving treatment for cancer. The patients received fluconazole, 2, 4, or 8 mg/kg per day for 7 days intravenously for a 2-hour period. Patients had no nausea or vomiting related to fluconazole; three patients had an asymptomatic rise in hepatic aminotransferase values after four to six doses (one patient at 2 mg/kg per day and two patients at 8 mg/kg per day), which returned to normal within 2 weeks after discontinuation of the drug. Fluconazole showed linear first-order kinetics over the dosage range tested and during multiple dosing. After the first dose, mean clearance was 22.8 +/- 2.3 ml/min, volume of distribution 0.87 +/- 0.06 L/kg, and terminal elimination half-life 16.8 +/- 1.1 hours. Similarly, after the last dose, clearance was 19.4 +/- 1.3 ml/min, volume of distribution 0.84 +/- 0.04 L/kg, and terminal elimination half-life 18.1 +/- 1.2 hours. Patients receiving their first fluconazole dose of 8 mg/kg achieved peak serum levels of 9.5 +/- 0.4 microgram/ml and trough levels of 2.7 +/- 0.5 microgram/ml 24 hours later, and an area under the serum concentration-time curve from time zero to infinity of 186 +/- 16 micrograms.hr per milliliter. Renal clearance of fluconazole was 65% +/- 5% of total clearance and demonstrated the predominantly renal excretion of this drug. We suggest that the shorter serum half-life and the higher frequency of aminotransferase elevations in comparison with those of adults warrant careful investigation of fluconazole in controlled clinical trials.