Pharmacokinetics of primaquine and carboxyprimaquine in korean patients with vivax malaria
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Primaquine is used for relapses caused by vivax malaria hypnozoites. No studies on the pharmacokinetics of primaquine (PMQ) has been reported in Korean patients. In our study, thirty vivax malaria patients were given 15 mg primaquine daily for 14 days after 3 days of chloroquine treatment. Plasma samples were taken at intervals after each daily dose of PMQ for 3 days. Plasma concentrations of PMQ and carboxyprimaquine (CPMQ), the major metabolite of primaquine, were measured by HPLC. The PMQ concentrations reached a maximum of 0.28±0.18 μg/mL at 1.5 h after the first dose. The maximum concentration of CPMQ was 0.32±0.13 μg/mL at 4 h. Higher drug concentrations with repeated dosing were observed for CPMQ, but not for the parent drug, PMQ. The elimination half-life was 3.76±1.8 h and 15.7±12.2 h, for PMQ and CPMQ, respectively. Large variation in the plasma concentrations of both drugs was observed. Overall, PMQ is absorbed and metabolized rapidly after oral administration. It was noted that the mean peak plasma concentration of PMQ was significantly higher and that of CPMQ was lower in our patients compared to other studies. This suggests a potential difference of inter-ethnic groups, which warrants further investigations.