Exposure equivalence between IV (0.8 mg/kg) and oral (1 mg/kg) busulfan in adult patients

Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2009 Sep;65(9):903-11. doi: 10.1007/s00228-009-0652-5. Epub 2009 May 8.


Objective: This study was conducted to retrospectively compare the area under the curve (AUC) and the total clearance of busulfan (Bu) following oral and intravenous (IV) administrations and to determine which intravenous dose generated equivalent exposure to that of the oral form that has been marketed for decades.

Methods: Patient pharmacokinetics were assessed at dose 9 during a conditioning regimen for stem-cell transplantation and included data from 277 patients for oral Bu (71 from fixed-dose studies and 206 from studies with dose adjustment allowed) and 120 patients for IV Bu (fixed dose). AUCs were compared between patients with fixed dose of oral Bu (n = 71, 1 mg/kg) and those of IV Bu (n = 120, 0.8 mg/kg). Total clearances were calculated for all 277 patients with oral Bu and compared to those with IV Bu, with the ratio of IV-to-oral clearance representing the absolute bioavailability of the oral form.

Results: Oral and IV populations differed on disease-type distribution but presented comparable demography parameters. IV Bu dosing was mostly based on the ideal body weight index while actual body weight or adjusted ideal body weight indexes were mostly used for oral. When normalised to comparable indexes, bioequivalent AUCs were achieved between oral and IV populations. Oral Bu bioavailability was about 80% when calculated from the ratio of IV-to-oral total clearances.

Conclusion: This retrospective study carried out on a large set of data showed that similar plasma exposures were achieved with 1.0 mg/kg oral Bu or 0.8 mg/kg IV Bu.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating / administration & dosage*
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating / blood
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating / pharmacokinetics*
  • Area Under Curve
  • Biological Availability
  • Busulfan / administration & dosage*
  • Busulfan / blood
  • Busulfan / pharmacokinetics*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Transplantation Conditioning / methods*


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating
  • Busulfan