Zidovudine is widely prescribed for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Trimethoprim and dapsone are commonly used in the management of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in HIV-infected patients. To examine the pharmacokinetic interactions among these drugs, eight HIV-infected patients (26 to 43 years old) with a mean CD4 count of 524.4 +/- 405.7 cells per mm3 received zidovudine (200 mg), trimethoprim (200 mg), and dapsone (100 mg) as single agents and in two- and three-drug combinations. Blood and urine samples were collected at a specified time and analyzed for zidovudine, zidovudine-glucuronide, trimethoprim, dapsone, and monoacetyl-dapsone concentrations under single-dose and steady-state conditions. Zidovudine did not influence the pharmacokinetic disposition of dapsone or trimethoprim. Dapsone had no effect on the pharmacokinetic disposition of zidovudine. Trimethoprim significantly decreased the renal clearance of zidovudine by 58% (5.0 +/- 1.8 versus 2.1 +/- 0.5 ml/min/kg of body weight [P < 0.05]). There was a concurrent 54% decrease in the mean urinary recovery of zidovudine (11.7 +/- 3.5 versus 5.4 +/- 3.0 [P < 0.05]), and the metabolic ratio was decreased by 78% (0.32 +/- 0.4 versus 0.07 +/- 0.05 [P < 0.05]). The mean area under the concentration-time curve from 0 to 6 h of the zidovudine-glucuronide/ zidovudine ratio was unchanged. We conclude that zidovudine, trimethoprim, and dapsone can be coadministered to patients with AIDS without significant pharmacokinetic interaction. However, in AIDS patients with liver impairment and impaired glucuronidation, doses of zidovudine may need to be decreased.
Although dapsone is a commonly used alternative agent for prophylaxis against Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in children intolerant to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, there are few data that describe dapsone pharmacokinetics in children. We studied dapsone pharmacokinetics in 30 children (median age, 2.8 years; age range, 0.3 to 12 years) receiving a new proprietary liquid preparation by three dosing regimens (1 mg/kg of body weight daily, 2 mg/kg daily, or 4 mg/kg weekly). Dosing of children with 2 mg/kg daily or 4 mg/kg weekly resulted in peak concentrations equivalent to those reached in adults receiving 100-mg tablets daily. For the entire population, the median half-life was 22.2 h (range, 7.1 to 40.3 h), the median oral clearance was 0.0365 liter/kg/h (range, 0.0104 to 0.1021 liter/kg/h), and the median oral apparent volume of distribution was 1.13 liters/kg (range, 0.50 to 2.32 liters/kg). The median dapsone oral clearance was significantly increased in those infants less than 2 years of age compared to the oral clearance in those over 2 years of age (0.0484 versus 0.0278 liter/kg/h; P = 0.011). These data suggest that absorption of this liquid preparation is adequate and that the concentrations in the sera of children receiving 2 mg/kg daily or 4 mg/kg weekly are equivalent to those seen in adults receiving standard dapsone dosing. Dapsone oral clearance appears to be increased in children under 2 years of age.
The safety and pharmacokinetics of weekly dapsone and weekly dapsone plus pyrimethamine were examined in adult patients with human immunodeficiency virus infection who were at risk for pneumocystis pneumonia because of a prior episode or a CD4+ T-cell count less than 250 cells per mm3. Groups of patients received 100, 200, and 300 mg of dapsone as a single weekly dose. The maximum tolerated dose of weekly dapsone was established as 200 mg per week in patients receiving at least 500 mg of zidovudine concomitantly. This dose of dapsone was then found to be well tolerated when combined with pyrimethamine at 25 mg. Further patients were randomized to dapsone at 200 mg or dapsone at 200 mg plus pyrimethamine at 25 mg once weekly. Twenty-six patients each were followed for a median of 33 weeks on dapsone alone and 45 weeks on the combination. Seven patients in each group withdrew because of toxicity. Five patients receiving dapsone developed documented pneumocystis pneumonia, while four and two patients receiving dapsone plus pyrimethamine developed documented and presumptive pneumocystis pneumonia, respectively. To evaluate the tolerability of a higher dose of pyrimethamine, 11 patients had their regimen changed to dapsone at 200 mg plus pyrimethamine at 75 mg, which was well tolerated by 10 of the patients for a median period of 11 weeks. The pharmacokinetics of dapsone and pyrimethamine were examined by using a population pharmacokinetic model. Decreases in the apparent volume of the peripheral compartment were observed when multiple-dose regimens of dapsone were compared with single-dose dapsone and when multiple-dose regimens of dapsone with pyrimethamine were compared with multiple-dose dapsone alone. When administered weekly, dapsone at 200 mg and dapsone at 200 mg with pyrimethamine at 25 mg are both well-tolerated regimens. This preliminary study suggests that the efficacy of these regimens in preventing pneumocystis pneumonia, however, may be less than that of trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole.
We review studies of dihydropteroate synthase gene mutations in Pneumocystis jirovecii and summarize the evidence for resistance to sulfamethoxazole and dapsone.
Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) remains a major cause of illness and death in HIV-infected persons. Sulfa drugs, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMX) and dapsone are mainstays of PCP treatment and prophylaxis. While prophylaxis has reduced the incidence of PCP, its use has raised concerns about development of resistant organisms. The inability to culture human Pneumocystis, Pneumocystis jirovecii, in a standardized culture system prevents routine susceptibility testing and detection of drug resistance. In other microorganisms, sulfa drug resistance has resulted from specific point mutations in the dihydropteroate synthase (DHPS) gene. Similar mutations have been observed in P. jirovecii. Studies have consistently demonstrated a significant association between the use of sulfa drugs for PCP prophylaxis and DHPS gene mutations. Whether these mutations confer resistance to TMP-SMX or dapsone plus trimethoprim for PCP treatment remains unclear. We review studies of DHPS mutations in P. jirovecii and summarize the evidence for resistance to sulfamethoxazole and dapsone.
perspective, Pneumocystis, Pneumocystis jirovecii, pneumonia, Pneumocystis, dihydropteroate synthase, dihydrofolate reductase, mutation, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, dapsone; drug resistance, microbial
Extrapulmonary pneumocystosis is an exceedingly rare complication of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP). Prior to the advent of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) epidemic, only 16 cases of extrapulmonary pneumocystosis in individuals who were immunocompromised by a variety of underlying diseases had been reported. Since the beginning of the HIV-1 and related PCP epidemic, at least 90 cases of extrapulmonary pneumocystosis have been reported. This review briefly presents a history of the discovery of P. carinii and its recognition as a human pathogen, the controversy regarding its taxonomy, and the epidemiology of this organism. A more detailed analysis of the incidence of extrapulmonary pneumocystosis in HIV-1-infected individuals and its occurrence despite widespread prophylaxis for PCP with either aerosolized pentamidine or systemic dapsone-trimethoprim is presented. The clinical features of published cases of extrapulmonary pneumocystosis in non-HIV-1-infected individuals are summarized and contrasted with those in HIV-1 infected individuals. The diagnosis of extrapulmonary pneumocystosis is discussed, and because clinical microbiologists and pathologists are the key individuals in establishing the diagnosis, the characteristic microscopic morphology of P. carinii as its appears when stained with a variety of stains is presented and reviewed. The review concludes with a brief discussion of treatments for extrapulmonary pneumocystosis.
The efficacies of trimethoprim (TMP)-sulfamethoxazole (SMZ), TMP-dapsone, dapsone, and pentamidine were compared for the prevention of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in the corticosteroid-treated-rat model. While 11 (73%) of 15 untreated control animals had P. carinii pneumonia after 10 weeks of immunosuppression, none of the animals given 125 mg of dapsone per kg daily, weekly, biweekly, or monthly had evidence of infection. Of the 10 rats given a single dose of dapsone 23 and 50 days after immunosuppression was started, 5 (50%) had P. carinii pneumonia. When three drugs were given separately to groups of 10 rats in single doses biweekly, P. carinii pneumonia occurred in 40% of those treated with TMP-SMZ and in none of those treated with TMP-dapsone; although only 2 of those treated with pentamidine survived for evaluation, both had P. carinii pneumonia. The experiments showed that dapsone is highly effective in chemoprophylaxis for P. carinii pneumonia when given at monthly intervals or more frequently and that dapsone and TMP-dapsone are more effective than is TMP-SMZ when given at biweekly intervals. It seems reasonable to expect that biweekly doses of dapsone or TMP-dapsone would provide an effective and reasonably safe chemoprophylaxis regimen for patients at high risk for P. carinii pneumonia, and studies to test such a scheme are justifiable. Biweekly doses are preferred over monthly doses to allow for occasional inadvertent omission of doses expected from patients.
The discovery of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) was led by the merge of clustered cases of Pneumocystis jirovecii Pneumonia (PCP) in otherwise healthy people in the early 80’s.1,2 In the face of sophisticated treatment now available for HIV infection, life expectancy approaches normal limits. It has dramatically changed the natural course of HIV from a nearly fatal infection to a chronic disease.3–5 However, PCP still remains a relatively common presentation of uncontrolled HIV. Despite the knowledge and advances gained in the prevention and management of PCP infection, it continues to have high morbidity and mortality rates. Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMZ) remains as the recommended first-line treatment. Alternatives include pentamidine, dapsone plus trimethoprim, clindamycin administered with primaquine, and atovaquone. For optimal management, clinicians need to be familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of the available drugs. The parameters used to classify severity of infection are also important, as it is well known that the adjunctive use of steroids in moderate to severe cases have been shown to significantly improve outcome. Evolving management practices, such as the successful institution of early antiretroviral therapy, may further enhance overall survival rates.
HIV; Pneumocystis Jirovecii; PCP; TMP-SMZ
The population pharmacokinetics of dapsone were examined in human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients receiving dapsone at a dosage of 100 mg twice weekly for the prevention of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia. Nonlinear mixed-effect modeling was used to determine the best pharmacostatistical model for the data. A one-compartment open model with first-order absorption and elimination was used as the structural pharmacokinetic model. Several covariates were tested for their influence on pharmacokinetic parameters. Rifampin was found to increase the values of clearance/bioavailability (CL/F) and volume of distribution/ bioavailability (V/F) by approximately 70%. CL/F and V/F were 1.83 liters/h and 69.6 liters, respectively, for patients not taking rifampin. The effect of rifampin on the pharmacokinetic parameters of dapsone was appreciably less than expected on the basis of studies with healthy volunteers. Increased bilirubin levels were associated with a significant decrease in the absorption rate constant (Ka). However, this finding may be considered clinically irrelevant because the post hoc Bayesian estimates of Ka for patients with high bilirubin levels ( > 1.2 mg/dl) were at the lower bound of the values for patients with normal bilirubin levels. The value of Ka was 0.957 h-1 for a patient with a bilirubin level of 0.7 mg/dl. After inclusion of covariates in the model, the interpatient variability was 35% for CL/F, not significant for V/F, and 85% for Ka. Simulation of plasma concentration-versus-time curves indicated that the administration of 100 mg of dapsone biweekly is associated with sustained dapsone levels in the plasma of the majority of the patients. Dosage adjustments for patients concomitantly treated with rifampin may be necessary.
The prophylactic efficacies of atovaquone (ATQ) alone and in combination with azithromycin, clarithromycin, rifabutin, proguanil, PS-15, trimethoprim, co-trimoxazole, or dapsone were investigated in a SCID mouse model of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP). ATQ alone was shown to have a significant dose-related effect, and at 200 mg/kg of body weight per day administered orally, the efficacy of ATQ was comparable to that of Septrin (co-trimoxazole). Of the drugs investigated orally in combination with ATQ, only dapsone (25 mg/kg/day) and to a lesser extent PS-15 (5 mg/kg/day) had any noteworthy antipneumocystis activity (at the doses examined) when administered alone. ATQ drug combinations affected the prophylactic efficacy of a subcurative dosage of ATQ (50 mg/kg/day given orally) in the following ways: dapsone (25 mg/kg/day) or co-trimoxazole (25 mg of sulfamethoxazole plus 5 mg of trimethoprim per kg/day) had no significant effect on ATQ, azithromycin (200 mg/kg/day) or clarithromycin (200 mg/kg/day) had a slight additive effect with ATQ, trimethoprim (100 mg/kg/day) or PS-15 (5 mg/kg/day) had an additive effect with ATQ, and proguanil (25 mg/kg/day) or rifabutin (200 mg/kg/day) had a marked synergistic effect on ATQ. The last result was particularly noteworthy as neither proguanil nor rifabutin was effective against PCP when administered alone. None of the drugs examined antagonized the prophylactic activity of ATQ in experimental PCP in SCID mice. The results suggest that clinical trials of ATQ with synergistic drug combinations may now be justified, particularly if such drug combinations improve ATQ's efficacy and broaden its spectrum of activity.
We studied the penetration of dapsone into the epithelial lining fluid (ELF) of sixteen human immunodeficiency virus type 1-infected patients who had received the drug at a dose of 100 mg twice weekly as primary prophylaxis for Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia. Bronchoscopy, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), and venipuncture were performed for each patient at a specific time after administration of the last dose of dapsone. Dapsone concentrations in plasma and BAL were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography. The apparent volume of ELF recovered by BAL was determined by using urea as an endogenous marker. The mean concentrations of dapsone in ELF at 2 h (five patients), 4 h (three patients), 12 h (two patients), 24 h (three patients), and 48 h (three patients) were 0.95, 0.70, 1.55, 0.23, and 0.45 mg/liter, respectively, while concentrations in plasma were 1.23, 0.79, 1.31, 0.83, and 0.18 mg/liter, respectively. Dapsone concentrations in ELF were 76, 79, 115, 65, and 291% of those observed in plasma at the same times, respectively. These data show that dapsone is well distributed into ELF and that a twice-weekly 100-mg prophylactic regimen results in sustained concentrations in this compartment.
Pneumocystis infection in humans was originally described in 1942. The organism was initially thought to be a protozoan, but more recent data suggest that it is more closely related to the fungi. Patients with cellular immune deficiencies are at risk for the development of symptomatic Pneumocystis infection. Populations at risk also include patients with hematologic and nonhematologic malignancies, hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients, solid-organ recipients, and patients receiving immunosuppressive therapies for connective tissue disorders and vasculitides. Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole is the agent of choice for prophylaxis against Pneumocystis unless a clear contraindication is identified. Other options include pentamidine, dapsone, dapsone-pyrimethamine, and atovaquone. The risk for PCP varies based on individual immune defects, regional differences, and immunosuppressive regimens. Prophylactic strategies must be linked to an ongoing assessment of the patient's risk for disease.
The efficacy of the ionophore lasalocid against Pneumocystis carinii pneumonitis in corticosteroid-immunosuppressed Sprague-Dawley rats was investigated. Lasalocid was effective in the prevention of the pneumonitis in a dose-dependent manner. At dosages of 0, 5, 10, and 20 mg/kg/day, P. carinii infection rates were 92, 60, 20, and 0%, respectively, during dexamethasone immunosuppression. Also, lasalocid compared favorably with other drugs known to have anti-P. carinii activity, including trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, atovaquone, and dapsone-trimethoprim.
First-line therapy for Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PCP) is trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole. Few data exist to guide the choice of second-line therapy for patients failing or developing toxicity to first-line therapy.
A case note review of 1122 patients with 1188 episodes of HIV-associated PCP from three observational cohorts in Copenhagen, London and Milan, between 1989 and 2004, was conducted.
Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (962 PCP episodes, 81%) was the most frequently used first-line therapy, followed by intravenous pentamidine (87 episodes, 7%), clindamycin/primaquine (72 episodes, 6%) and ‘other’ (atovaquone, dapsone/pyrimethamine, trimetrexate or inhaled pentamidine; 67 episodes, 6%). Rates of unchanged therapy were trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole = 79%, clindamycin/primaquine = 65% and pentamidine = 60% (P < 0.001). First-line therapy was changed because of failure in 82 (7%) episodes and because of toxicity in 198 (17%) episodes. Three month survival rates were trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole = 85%, clindamycin/primaquine = 81% and pentamidine = 76% (P = 0.09). After adjustment for possible confounders, pentamidine was associated with a significantly greater risk of death at 3 months [hazard ratio (HR) = 2.0, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.2–3.4]. Second-line therapy survival rates differed: trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole = 85%; clindamycin/primaquine = 87%; and pentamidine = 60% (P = 0.01). Multivariable time-updated Cox regression analysis showed a greater risk of death associated with pentamidine (HR = 3.3, 95% CI = 2.2–5.0), but not for clindamycin/primaquine, when both were compared with trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole.
Pentamidine was associated with a greater risk of death when used as first- and second-line therapy for HIV-associated PCP, and was associated with more treatment changes. Clindamycin/primaquine appeared superior to pentamidine as second-line therapy for PCP in patients failing or developing toxicity with trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole. In patients failing first-line treatment with non-trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole regimens, second-line therapy should be trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole.
PCP; pneumocystis; therapy; adverse drug reactions; HIV-1
Low-dose trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMX) alone was found to be as effective as low-dose TMP-SMX plus zidovudine and standard-dose TMP-SMX alone in preventing and treating Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) in an immunosuppressed-rat model. Zidovudine alone had no preventive or curative effect on PCP. We conclude that the initially reported reduced incidence of PCP in human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients treated with zidovudine alone is not due to anti-P. carinii activity of zidovudine. Furthermore, the clinical efficacy of low-dose TMP-SMX for the prevention and treatment of PCP should be further investigated.
Hyperimmune anti-human immunodeficiency virus immunoglobulin (HIVIG) is an intravenous immunoglobulin prepared from HIV-infected asymptomatic donors with a CD4 cell count greater than 400 cells/microl and a high titer of antibody to HIV-1 p24 protein. Twelve persons with AIDS received four doses of HMG (two at 50 mg/kg of body weight and then two at 200 mg/kg) every 28 days. Pharmacokinetics were evaluated by measurement of anti-p24 antibody. HIVIG was well tolerated, and all participants completed the study. Three subjects who were not receiving Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) prophylaxis developed PCP. The mean value for HIVIG clearance was 3.02 ml/kg/day at 50 mg/kg and 3.65 ml/kg/day at 200 mg/kg (P = 0.027); the mean trough antibody titers (reciprocal units) were 1,442 and 4,428, respectively. This study indicates that high titers of anti-p24 antibody can be maintained with a monthly administration schedule of HIVIG and that short-term safety is acceptable. Comparisons to evaluate the therapeutic potential of HIVIG are justified.
We conducted an open prospective clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy and toxicity of trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole given as one double-strength tablet thrice weekly for primary and secondary prophylaxis of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) in human immunodeficiency virus-infected (HIV+) patients. A total of 104 HIV+ patients were evaluated, with 74 being in the primary prophylaxis group and 30 being in the secondary prophylaxis group. All except six patients received concomitant zidovudine; five patients on primary prophylaxis and one patient on secondary prophylaxis refused zidovudine. There were 70 patients evaluated for the efficacy of primary prophylaxis. The mean CD4 count was 124.4 +/- 110.1 cells per microliter. The mean follow-up time was 11.8 +/- 5.8 months (median, 12 months; range, 1 to 32 months). Two noncompliant patients developed PCP after 1 and 3 months of chemoprophylaxis. The failure rate (under the intention to treat principle) was 2 of 70 patients (2.9%; 95% confidence interval, 0.35 to 10%), or 1 per 413 patient-months of observation. There were 27 patients evaluated for the efficacy of secondary prophylaxis. The mean follow-up time was 12.4 +/- 7.2 months (median, 11 months; range, 1 to 29 months). Two patients, one of whom was noncompliant, were treatment failures, developing PCP after 14 and 15 months of chemoprophylaxis; this gave a failure rate of 2 of 27 patients (7.4%; 95% confidence interval, 0.9 to 24.3%), or 1 per 167 patient-months of observation. Adverse reactions sufficient to permanently terminate therapy occurred in 9 of 104 patients (8.7%; 95% confidence interval, 4 to 15.7%) overall. The serum trimethoprim, sulfamethoxazole, and N4-acetyl-sulfamethoxazole concentrations measured by high-pressure liquid chromatography were uniformly low. One double-strength tablet of trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole taken weekly on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday appeared to be well tolerated and efficacious for the prophylaxis of PCP in HIV+ patients at high risk and deserves further investigation.
We analyzed single drugs and combinations of drugs used clinically in the treatment of opportunistic infections and other conditions for their activities against Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in immunosuppressed rats. When they were used alone, atovaquone, rifabutin, and dapsone were more active than clarithromycin or trimethoprim. Drug combinations were evaluated for synergistic activity by an analysis of variance model for two-way factorial experiments and a response surface model. Atovaquone combined with trimethoprim trimethoprim and some combinations of dapsone and clarithromycin was synergistic; however, the activities of combinations of atovaquone and rifabutin, atovaquone and clarithromycin, and atovaquone and dapsone were simply additive. Lovastatin, which inhibits 3-hydroxy-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase, was inactive whether it was used alone or in combination with other agents. None of the synergistic drug combinations was as effective as trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. We conclude that the rat model can be used to test combinations of anti-P. carinii agents for synergistic activity by well-established statistical techniques. While some combinations of clinically used antimicrobial drugs have enhanced anti-P. carinii activity, further studies are needed before clinical trials can be contemplated.
We compared Ro 11-8958, an analog of trimethoprim (TMP) with improved antimicrobial and pharmacokinetic properties, other dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) inhibitors, sulfamethoxazole (SMX), and dapsone (DAP) in the treatment of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in an immunosuppressed rat model. In contrast to previous reports, high dosages of the DHFR inhibitors were used in combination with fixed, low dosages of SMX (3 mg/kg of body weight per day) or DAP (25 mg/kg/day). When administered alone at these dosages, SMX and DAP reduced the median P. carinii cyst count about 5- to 15-fold. Ro 11-8958, TMP, and diaveridine used at a dosage of 20 mg/kg/day with SMX were only slightly more effective than SMX used alone. However, administration of these DHFR inhibitors at a dosage of 100 mg/kg/day with SMX lowered the cyst count about 500- to 1,000-fold, indicating a synergistic effect. Little or no synergism was found when other DHFR inhibitors (pyrimethamine, cycloguanil, and tetroxoprim) were combined with SMX. Regimens of Ro 11-8958 at a dosage of 20 mg/kg/day with DAP and of TMP or diaveridine used at a dosage of 100 mg/kg/day with DAP showed comparable anti-P. carinii activity, lowering the cyst count 100- to 200-fold. By contrast, Ro 11-8958 administered at a dosage of 100 mg/kg/day with DAP reduced the cyst count > 1,000-fold. Thus, the experimental approach used here enables the rat model of pneumocystosis to be used to compare synergistic combinations of antifolate drugs. The favorable results achieved with Ro 11-8958 indicate that it should be considered for clinical trials.
Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia (PCP) prophylaxis is recommended for patients with CD4 counts of less than 200 cells/mm3. This study examines the proportion of patients in the TREAT Asia HIV Observational Database (TAHOD) receiving PCP prophylaxis, and its effect on PCP and mortality.
TAHOD patients with prospective follow up had data extracted for prophylaxis using co-trimoxazole, dapsone or pentamidine. The proportion of patients on prophylaxis was calculated for each calendar year since 2003 among patients with CD4 counts of less than 200 cells/mm3. The effect of prophylaxis on PCP and survival were assessed using random-effect Poisson regression models.
There were a total of 4050 patients on prospective follow up, and 90% of them were receiving combination antiretroviral therapy. Of those with CD4 counts of less than 200 cells/mm3, 58% to 72% in any given year received PCP prophylaxis, predominantly co-trimoxazole. During follow up, 62 patients developed PCP (0.5 per 100 person-years) and 169 died from all causes (1.36/100 person-years). After stratifying by site and adjusting for age, CD4 count, CDC stage and antiretroviral treatment, those without prophylaxis had no higher risk of PCP, but had a significantly higher risk of death (incident rate ratio 10.8, p < 0.001). PCP prophylaxis had greatest absolute benefit in patients with CD4 counts of less than 50 cells/mm3, lowering mortality rates from 33.5 to 6.3 per 100 person-years.
Approximately two-thirds of TAHOD patients with CD4 counts of less than 200 cells/mm3 received PCP prophylaxis. Patients without prophylaxis had significantly higher mortality, even in the era of combination ART. Although PCP may be under-diagnosed, these data suggest that prophylaxis is associated with important survival benefits.
Twenty-one patients with dermatitis herpetiformis initially controlled by dapsone or sulphonamides have been treated with a gluten-free diet and reassessed at intervals for up to 15 months (mean 11·9 months). According to routine histological and dissecting microscope criteria the small-bowel lesion improved in 10, but when mean epithelial cell height was used as a measure 15 patients improved. Five of the patients with diarrhoea improved after withdrawing gluten from the diet but none reverted to completely normal bowel habit. The tests for malabsorption showed little improvement in the treatment period. Twelve patients needed less dapsone to control their skin complaint, the mean dose falling from 144 mg. to a mean of 70 mg. per day; of these three stopped using this drug altogether.
Concentrations of dapsone, monoacetyldapsone, and pyrimethamine were determined in 36 serum samples from human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients on prophylaxis with once-weekly administration of dapsone-pyrimethamine (200 mg of dapsone-75 mg of pyrimethamine). During day 1 after ingestion, median levels of 1,038 ng of dapsone per ml and 356 ng of pyrimethamine per ml were found. During days 6 to 7, the dapsone level fell to < 20 ng/ml in five of nine serum samples, but the pyrimethamine level remained elevated (125 ng/ml). Concurrent, but separately ingested, didanosine administration did not seem to decrease the drug concentrations.
Twenty-one patients with dermatitis herpetiformis have been on a gluten free diet regularly followed up for at least one year (mean four years). Eighteen patients had a 'flat' mucosal appearance (grade III), one patient had moderately severe mucosal abnormality (grade II), one patient had mild mucosal abnormality (grade I), and one patient had a normal mucosal appearance (grade O). On the diet, 10 patients had no skin rash and took no dapsone, seven patients controlled the skin rash on a lower dose of dapsone, and four noticed no improvement. There was no correlation between pre-diet jejunal morphology and response of the skin. A repeat jejunal biopsy, on the gluten free diet, was possible in 15 patients. While all those with skin improvement showed some improvement in jejunal morphology, there was no association between the degree of skin improvement and the degree of recovery of the jejunal mucosa.
Dapsone, used for Pneumocystis jiroveci (PCP) prophylaxis, is associated with increased risk of methemoglobinemia. Absence of cytochrome b5 reductase enzyme activity (CYB5RA) causes congenital methemoglobinemia, but its role in dapsone-associated methemoglobinemia is unknown. We sought to elucidate drug-related risk factors for dapsone-associated methemoglobinemia in pediatric oncology patients, including contribution of CYB5RA.
Patients and Methods
Among 167 pediatric patients treated for hematologic malignancies or aplastic anemia who received dapsone for PCP prophylaxis, demographic and dapsone treatment data were retrospectively collected. Drug-related risk factors were evaluated by Cox proportional hazards, and in a cross-sectional subgroup of 40 patients, CYB5RA was assessed.
Methemoglobinemia (median methemoglobin level = 9.0% [3.5–22.4]) was documented in 32 patients (19.8%). There was a 73% risk reduction in methemoglobinemia with dosing ≥20% below the target dose 2mg/kg/day (HR = 0.27; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.09, 0.78; p=0.016), while methemoglobinemia risk was increased with dosing ≥20% above the target dose (HR = 6.25; 95% CI 2.45, 15.93; p<0.001). Sex, body mass index, and age were not associated with increased risk. CYB5RA did not differ by methemoglobinemia status (median 8.6 IU/g Hb; [5.5 – 12.1] vs. 9.1 IU/g Hb; [6.7 – 12.7]). No patient developed PCP on dapsone.
Methemoglobinemia occurred in almost 20% of pediatric oncology patients receiving dapsone for PCP prophylaxis. Higher dapsone dosing is associated with increased risk. A cross-sectionally acquired CYB5RA level was not associated with methemoglobinemia risk. Studies are needed to define biologic correlates of methemoglobinemia and evaluate lower dapsone doses for PCP prophylaxis.
pediatric oncology; HIV; dapsone; methemoglobinemia; Drug-related complications; cytochrome b5 reductase
A total of 307 patients with lepromatous leprosy and borderline lepromatous leprosy were randomized to dapsone monotherapy or to one of two types of drug combinations. A 3-year treatment phase was followed by a 5-year observation phase. The evaluation included 233 patients for whom together there were 1,404 years of observation. A total of 1,956 blinded histopathological specimens were processed centrally. When entering the trial isolates from 13 patients (5.6%) showed dapsone resistance in the mouse footpad test, and these patients were evaluated separately. Dapsone monotherapy (68 patients) had the same frequency of cure as the combination of dapsone and rifampin (77 patients) or the four-drug regimen consisting of dapsone, rifampin, isoniazid, and prothionamide (75 patients). We did not find a significant difference in the clearance of bacteria either between the monotherapy and the two-drug combination or the monotherapy and the four-drug combination. Six months after the initiation of treatment, disease in 15% of the patients who received dapsone monotherapy but none of the patients who received combined treatment were clinically progressive. After another 1 to 9 months of treatment the disease in all patients was stable or regressive. There was no difference in the type or frequency of reactions. Only after the end of the scheduled observation phase three relapses were reported. All three treatment regimens well tolerated. Dapsone monotherapy is highly effective in the treatment of multibacillary leprosy under the conditions of well-controlled treatment. Combination regimens seem only to accelerate the regression of the active disease when they are compared with monotherapy with dapsone. The mouse footpad test does not reflect the clinical resistance and cannot be recommended for use in making therapeutic decisions.
Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) is associated with significant mortality and morbidity among infants infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The preferred prophylaxis strategy for such infants is a subject of debate. Medical decision analysis was used to determine the preferred strategy for primary PCP prophylaxis among asymptomatic HIV-infected infants less than one year of age, and to determine the thresholds at which different variables influence decision making. Utility measures (health state preference values) were used to determine whether prophylaxis should be given to all, some or no infants. In this regard, some infants would receive prophylaxis if baseline CD4 counts are fewer than 1500 cells/mm3. The results suggest that the preferred option is to give prophylaxis to all asymptomatic HIV-infected infants despite CD4 counts, if the risk of PCP is equal to or greater than 25%. However, if the risk of PCP is less than 25%, prophylaxis is recommended for those infants with CD4 counts of fewer than 1500 cells/mm3. The results complement current guidelines regarding PCP prophylaxis for HIV-infected infants.
Decision analysis; Pneumocystis; Prophylaxis