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Keywords:

  • antacids;
  • influenza;
  • neuraminidase inhibitor;
  • oseltamivir;
  • pharmacokinetics

Aims Oseltamivir is an oral ester prodrug of its active metabolite Ro 64–0802, a potent and selective neuraminidase inhibitor of the influenza virus. The object of this study was to evaluate whether the oral absorption of oseltamivir was reduced in the presence of two main classes of antacid, Maalox® suspension (containing magnesium hydroxide and aluminium hydroxide) and Titralac® tablets (containing calcium carbonate).

Methods Twelve healthy volunteers completed a randomized, single dose, three-period crossover study. Each volunteer received in a fasted state, 150 mg oseltamivir alone (Treatment A), 150 mg oseltamivir with a 20 ml Maalox® suspension (Treatment  B),  and  150 mg  oseltamivir  with  four  Titralac® tablets  (Treatment  C),  with 7–10 days washout in between treatments. Plasma and urine concentrations of oseltamivir  and  Ro  64–0802  were  measured  using  a  validated  h.p.l.c./MS/MS assay. Pharmacokinetic parameters were calculated for oseltamivir and Ro 64–0802. Since antacids are locally acting drugs and generally not expected to be absorbed substantially into the systemic system, no plasma or urine concentrations of antacids were measured.

Results Bioequivalence was achieved for the primary pharmacokinetic parameters Cmax and AUC(0,∞) of Ro 64–0802 following administration of oseltamivir with either Maalox® suspension or Titralac® tablets vs administration of oseltamivir alone. The bioavailability (90% confidence intervals) of Ro 64–0802 following administration of oseltamivir together with Maalox® suspension vs administration of oseltamivir alone, was 90% (83.6, 96.9%) for Cmax and 94.1% (91.4, 96.9%) for AUC(0,∞); similarly, for Titralac® tablets, the equivalent values were 95.1% (88.3, 102%) for Cmax and 94.7% (91.9, 97.5%) for AUC(0,∞).

Conclusions The coadministration of either Maalox® suspension or Titralac® tablets with oseltamivir has no effect on the pharmacokinetics of either oseltamivir or Ro 64–0802, and conversely, there is no evidence that coadministration with oseltamivir has an effect on the safety and tolerability of either Maalox® suspension or Titralac® tablets. There was no pharmacokinetic interaction between oseltamivir with either antacid, demonstrating that the oral absorption of oseltamivir was not impaired in the presence of antacids containing magnesium, aluminium or calcium.