Objective: Midazolam is a short-acting benzodiazepine hypnotic extensively metabolized by CYP3A4 enzyme. Orally ingested azole antimycotics, including fluconazole, interfere with the metabolism of oral midazolam during its absorption and elimination phases. We compared the effect of oral and intravenous fluconazole on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of orally ingested midazolam.
Methods: A double-dummy, randomized, cross-over study in three phases was performed in 9 healthy volunteers. The subjects were given orally fluconazole 400 mg and intravenously saline within 60 min; orally placebo and intravenously fluconazole 400 mg; and orally placebo and intravenously saline. An oral dose of 7.5 mg midazolam was ingested 60 min after oral intake of fluconazole/placebo, i.e. at the end of the corresponding infusion. Plasma concentrations of midazolam, alpha-hydroxymidazolam and fluconazole were determined and pharmacodynamic effects were measured up to 17 h.
Results: Both oral and intravenous fluconazole significantly increased the area under the midazolam plasma concentration-time curve (AUC0-3, AUC0-17) 2- to 3-fold, the elimination half-life of midazolam 2.5-fold and its peak concentration (Cmax) 2- to 2.5-fold compared with placebo. The AUC0-3 and the Cmax of midazolam were significantly higher after oral than after intravenous administration of fluconazole. Both oral and intravenous fluconazole increased the pharmacodynamic effects of midazolam but no differences were detected between the fluconazole phases.
Conclusion: We conclude that the metabolism of orally administered midazolam was more strongly inhibited by oral than by intravenous administration of fluconazole.