In vitro study of the variable effects of proton pump inhibitors on voriconazole

Krista L. Niece, Natalie K. Boyd, Kevin S. Akers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Voriconazole is a broad-spectrum antifungal agent used for the treatment of severe fungal infections. Maintaining therapeutic concentrations of 1 to 5.5 μg/ml is currently recommended to maximize the exposure-response relationship of voriconazole. However, this is challenging, given the highly variable pharmacokinetics of the drug, which includes metabolism by cytochrome P450 (CYP450) isotypes CYP2C19, CYP3A4, and CYP2C9, through which common metabolic pathways for many medications take place and which are also expressed in different isoforms with various metabolic efficacies. Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are also metabolized through these enzymes, making them competitive inhibitors of voriconazole metabolism, and coadministration with voriconazole has been reported to increase total voriconazole exposure. We examined the effects of five PPIs (rabeprazole, pantoprazole, lansoprazole, omeprazole, and esomeprazole) on voriconazole concentrations using four sets of human liver microsomes (HLMs) of different CYP450 phenotypes. Overall, the use of voriconazole in combination with any PPI led to a significantly higher voriconazole yield compared to that achieved with voriconazole alone in both pooled HLMs (77% versus 59%; P<0.001) and individual HLMs (86% versus 76%; P<0.001). The mean percent change in the voriconazole yield from that at the baseline after PPI exposure in pooled microsomes ranged from 22% with pantoprazole to 51% with esomeprazole. Future studies are warranted to confirm whether and how the deliberate coadministration of voriconazole and PPIs can be used to boost voriconazole levels in patients with difficult-to-treat fungal infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5548-5554
Number of pages7
JournalAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2015
Externally publishedYes


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