Excretion of moxidectin into breast milk and pharmacokinetics in healthy lactating women

Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2011 Nov;55(11):5200-4. doi: 10.1128/AAC.00311-11. Epub 2011 Sep 6.


Moxidectin, registered worldwide as a veterinary antiparasitic agent, is currently under development for humans for the treatment of onchocerciasis in collaboration with the World Health Organization. The objective of this study was to assess the pharmacokinetics of moxidectin in healthy lactating women, including the excretion into breast milk. Twelve women, ages 23 to 38 years, weighing 54 to 79 kg, all more than 5 months postpartum, were enrolled, following their plan to wean their infants and provision of informed consent. A single 8-mg, open-label dose was administered orally after consumption of a standard breakfast. Complete milk collection was done for approximately 28 days, and plasma samples were collected for 90 days. Moxidectin concentrations were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with fluorescence detection, with a validated range of 0.08 to 120 ng/ml. Noncompartmental pharmacokinetic methods were used to find the following results: peak concentration in plasma (C(max)), 87 ± 25 ng/ml; time to C(max) (t(max)), 4.18 ± 1.59 h; terminal-phase elimination half-life (t(1/2)), 832 ± 321 h; total area under the concentration-time curve (AUC), 4,046 ± 1,796 ng · h/ml; apparent oral dose clearance (CL/F), 2.35 ± 1.07 l/h; ratio of CL/F to the terminal-phase disposition rate constant, λ(z) (Vλ(z)/F), 2,526 ± 772 liters; percentage of maternal dose excreted in milk, 0.701 ± 0.299%; absolute amount excreted in milk, 0.056 ± 0.024 mg; relative infant dose, 8.73 ± 3.17% of maternal dose assuming complete absorption; clearance in milk (CL(milk)), 0.016 ± 0.009 liter/h. Nine of 12 subjects reported adverse events, all of which were considered treatment emergent but not drug related and were mostly reported during the long outpatient period 8 to 90 days after dose administration. The most frequently reported adverse events were headache and nausea (n = 4), oropharyngeal pain (n = 2), rhinitis, viral pharyngitis, and viral upper respiratory tract infection (n = 2).

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lactation / metabolism*
  • Macrolides / metabolism
  • Macrolides / pharmacokinetics
  • Milk, Human / metabolism*
  • Young Adult


  • Macrolides
  • moxidectin