Valganciclovir results in improved oral absorption of ganciclovir in liver transplant recipients

Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2000 Oct;44(10):2811-5. doi: 10.1128/AAC.44.10.2811-2815.2000.


The pharmacokinetics of an orally administered valine ester of ganciclovir (GCV), valganciclovir (VGC), were studied. These were compared to the pharmacokinetics of oral and intravenous GCV. Twenty-eight liver transplant recipients received, in an open-label random order with a 3- to 7-day washout, each of the following: 1 g of oral GCV three times a day; 450 mg of VGC per os (p.o.) once a day (q.d.); 900 mg of VGC p.o. q.d.; and 5 mg of intravenous (i.v.) GCV per kg of body weight q.d., given over 1 h. GCV and VGC concentrations were measured in blood over 24 h. One-sided equivalence testing was performed to test for noninferiority of 450 mg of VGC relative to oral GCV (two-sided 90% confidence interval [CI] > 80%) and nonsuperiority of 900 mg of VGC relative to i.v. GCV (two-sided 90% CI < 125%). The exposure of 450 mg of VGC (20.56 microg. h/ml) was found to be noninferior to that of oral GCV (20.15 microg. h/ml; 90% CI for relative bioavailability of 95 to 109%), and the exposure of 900 mg of VGC (42.69 microg. h/ml) was found to be nonsuperior to that of i.v. GCV (47.61 microg. h/ml; 90% CI = 83 to 97%). Oral VGC delivers systemic GCV exposure equivalent to that of standard oral GCV (at 450 mg) or i.v. GCV (at 900 mg of VGC). VGC has promise for effective CMV prophylaxis or treatment with once-daily oral dosing in transplant recipients.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents / adverse effects
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacokinetics*
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology*
  • Area Under Curve
  • Biological Availability
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / metabolism
  • Female
  • Ganciclovir / adverse effects
  • Ganciclovir / analogs & derivatives*
  • Ganciclovir / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Absorption / drug effects*
  • Liver Transplantation / physiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Stimulation, Chemical
  • Valganciclovir


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Valganciclovir
  • Ganciclovir