Posaconazole Pharmacokinetics in a 2-Year-Old Boy with Rhino-Cerebral-Orbital Zygomycosis


For questions or comments, contact Charles Peloquin, Pharm.D., FCCP, Infectious Disease Pharmacokinetics Laboratory, College of Pharmacy, and Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, 1600 SW Archer Road, Room P4-33, P.O. Box 100486, Gainesville, FL 32610-0486; e-mail: peloquin@cop.ufl.edu.


Posaconazole is a triazole antifungal agent used as adjuvant or salvage therapy for the treatment of zygomycosis, an invasive fungal infection associated with high mortality. Oral posaconazole absorption is highly variable. We describe the pharmacokinetics of oral posaconazole in a 2-year-old boy with rhino-cerebral-orbital zygomycosis. Seven days after induction therapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia, he was brought to the emergency department because of left eyelid swelling and was admitted to the hospital. Zygomycosis was diagnosed 12 days later. After we conducted a literature search and consulted with antifungal drug experts, a triple-antifungal regimen consisting of liposomal amphotericin B, caspofungin, and posaconazole was started. Given the severity of the disease, we aimed for posaconazole plasma trough concentrations greater than 1.25 µg/ml; the dosage necessary to achieve this goal was posaconazole 200 mg 4 times/day. After a difficult 105-day stay in the hospital and stabilization of the fungal infection, the patient was discharged. Caspofungin was discontinued at time of discharge, but the patient continued to receive amphotericin B lipid complex 7.5 mg/kg/day intravenously and posaconazole 200 mg orally 4 times/day. This is one of the few case reports describing posaconazole pharmacokinetics in a child younger than 8 years. In patients with extensive zygomycosis, a triple-antifungal regimen, combined with therapeutic drug monitoring of posaconazole, may be helpful.