Effect of food on the pharmacokinetics of multiple-dose oral voriconazole

Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2003 Dec;56 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):17-23. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2125.2003.01994.x.


Aims: Voriconazole is a new triazole antifungal agent with activity against a range of clinically important and emerging pathogens. This study determined the effect of food on the pharmacokinetics of voriconazole in healthy volunteers.

Methods: This was an open, randomized, two-way crossover, multiple-dose study in male volunteers. Twelve subjects received voriconazole 200 mg twice daily for 6.5 days. Each dose was administered either with food or in the fasted state, i.e. not within 2 h of food. Treatment periods were separated by a minimum 7-day washout period. Plasma samples were taken for the estimation of voriconazole plasma concentrations on days 1 and 7. Safety and toleration were assessed by monitoring of both laboratory safety tests and adverse events.

Results: Administering voriconazole with food significantly decreased both day 7 AUCtau and Cmax by approximately 35% (9598-7520 ng.h ml-1; P = 0.003) and 22% (2038-1332 ng ml-1; P = 0.008), respectively. Administering voriconazole with food statistically significantly delayed absorption, evident from tmax values; the mean difference for tmax on day 7 was 1.1 h. The terminal phase rate constant was unchanged by administering voriconazole with food. The fasted terminal phase half-life was 7.3 h compared with 6.6 h for the fed state. Visual inspection of Cmin values suggests that steady state was achieved after 5 days in both dietary states. Voriconazole accumulation, as assessed by ratios of Cmax and AUCtau on days 1 and 7, was statistically significantly greater when administered with food (Cmax, P = 0.010, AUCtau, P = 0.006). Mean Cmax accumulation in the fasted state was 2.1-fold compared with 3.5-fold in the fed state. AUCtau accumulation in the fasted state was 3.1-fold compared with 4.2-fold in the fed state. There were no discontinuations due to adverse events or laboratory abnormalities. Treatment-related mild-to-moderate visual disturbances were experienced by six out of 12 subjects.

Conclusions: The bioavailability of twice-daily 200 mg voriconazole is reduced by approximately 22% as measured by AUCtau after multiple dosing when taken with food, compared with fasting.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Antifungal Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antifungal Agents / adverse effects
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacokinetics*
  • Area Under Curve
  • Biological Availability
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Food*
  • Food-Drug Interactions
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Absorption
  • Male
  • Pyrimidines / administration & dosage
  • Pyrimidines / adverse effects
  • Pyrimidines / pharmacokinetics*
  • Time Factors
  • Triazoles / administration & dosage
  • Triazoles / adverse effects
  • Triazoles / pharmacokinetics*
  • Voriconazole


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Pyrimidines
  • Triazoles
  • Voriconazole