Objectives: The objective of this study was to develop a simultaneous population pharmacokinetic (PK) model to describe atazanavir/ritonavir (ATV/RTV) PK (300/100 mg) and to assess the effect of RTV dose reduction on ATV PK. Simulations of ATV concentration-time profiles were performed at doses of ATV/RTV 300/50 mg, 200/50 mg, and 200/100 mg once daily.
Methods: A total of 288 ATV and 312 RTV plasma concentrations from 30 patients were included to build a population PK model using the stochastic approximation expectation maximization algorithm implemented in MONOLIX 3.2 software.
Results: A one-compartment model with first-order absorption and lag-time best described the data for both drugs in the final simultaneous model. A maximum-effect model in which RTV inhibited the elimination of ATV was used to describe the relationship between RTV concentrations and ATV clearance (CL/F). An RTV concentration of 0.22 mg/L was associated with 50% maximum inhibition of ATV CL/F. The population prediction of ATV CL/F in the absence of RTV was 16.6 L/h (relative standard error, 7.0%), and the apparent volume of distribution and absorption rate constant were 106 L (relative standard error, 8%) and 0.87 per hour (fixed), respectively. Simulated average ATV trough concentrations at ATV/RTV 300/50 mg, 200/50 mg, and 200/100 mg once daily were 45%, 63%, and 33% lower, respectively, than that of the standard dose.
Conclusion: Although simulated median ATV trough concentrations after dose reductions were still more than the ATV minimum effective concentration (2.9-, 1.9-, and 3.6-fold for ATV/RTV 300/50 mg, 200/50 mg, and 200/100 mg, respectively); our modeling predicted a high proportion of individuals with subtherapeutic trough concentrations on the 200/50 mg dose. This suggests that 300/50 mg and 200/100 mg dosing are preferred candidate regimens in future clinical studies.