Source Roche, Nutley, NJ, USA.
BACKGROUND: Amongst Caucasian, Hispanic and African Americans with genotype 1 hepatitis C virus (HCV), there is a wide variation in response to treatment with peginterferon alfa-2a (PEG-IFN alfa-2a) and ribavirin.
AIM: To evaluate the pharmacokinetics (PK) of PEG-IFN alfa-2a and ribavirin among these three groups.
METHODS: Forty-seven patients with genotype 1 CHC (17 African Americans, 14 Hispanics and 16 Caucasians) received 8 weeks of PEG-IFN alfa-2a (180 &g/week) and ribavirin (1000 or 1200 mg/day). PEG-IFN alfa-2a serum concentrations and ribavirin plasma concentrations were measured following the first dose and at week 8. Pharmacokinetic parameters (C(max) , T(max) , AUC, CL/F) were estimated using noncompartmental methods.
RESULTS: There was no difference in the pharmacokinetic parameters for PEG-IFN alfa-2a following single-dose or steady-state administration between African American or Hispanic patients compared with Caucasian patients. Ribavirin pharmacokinetic parameters were similar between Hispanic and Caucasian patients for single-dose and steady-state administration. The single-dose C(max) was 33% lower (P < 0.05) in African American compared with Caucasian patients. Other ribavirin single-dose and steady-state pharmacokinetic parameters were slightly decreased (approximately 20% lower) in African American patients, but were not considered clinically meaningful.
CONCLUSIONS: No differences were observed in PEG-IFN alfa-2a pharmacokinetic parameters between African American or Hispanic patients compared with Caucasian patients. For ribavirin, no differences were observed in pharmacokinetic parameters between Hispanic and Caucasian patients. While a trend towards increased ribavirin clearance and decreased exposure was observed in African American patients vs. Caucasian patients, the differences were small and not considered clinically meaningful (Clinical Trial Number: NP17354).