The influence of food on the pharmacokinetics of piperaquine in healthy Vietnamese volunteers

Acta Trop. 2008 Aug;107(2):145-9. doi: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2008.05.013. Epub 2008 May 24.


The combination piperaquine and dihydroartemisinin is emerging as first line treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria in Southeast Asia. The aim of this study was to determine the influence of a standard Vietnamese meal on the single-dose pharmacokinetics of piperaquine when administered in combination with dihydroartemisinin, and to gain extended data on the terminal half-life of piperaquine in healthy Vietnamese volunteers. Subjects were randomly assigned to take a single oral dose of piperaquine phosphate (640 mg)+dihydroartemisinin (80 mg) together with a standardized Vietnamese meal (n=16) or to remain fasting for 4h following drug intake (n=16). Frequent blood sampling was conducted during 36 h, followed by weekly samples for 7 weeks. The pharmacokinetic parameters of piperaquine were determined by noncompartmental analysis. The median (80% central range) AUC(0-last) was 11.5 (6.9-17.3)h mg/L in fed and 13.9 (2.8-19.3)h mg/L in fasting subjects, indicating a considerable variability in exposure in both groups. The estimated overall oral clearance was 0.27 (0.12-1.49)L/(h kg), the volume of distribution during the terminal elimination phase was 230 (102-419)L/kg and estimated terminal half-life was 18 (5-93) days. This study did not demonstrate a significant impact of a standardized Vietnamese meal on the oral absorption of piperaquine.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Antimalarials / administration & dosage
  • Antimalarials / pharmacokinetics*
  • Area Under Curve
  • Artemisinins / administration & dosage
  • Biological Availability
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Fasting
  • Female
  • Food-Drug Interactions*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meat*
  • Middle Aged
  • Ovum*
  • Quinolines / administration & dosage
  • Quinolines / pharmacokinetics*
  • Vegetables*
  • Vietnam
  • Volunteers


  • Antimalarials
  • Artemisinins
  • Quinolines
  • dihydroartemisinin
  • piperaquine