Autoinduction of voriconazole metabolism in a child with invasive pulmonary aspergillosis

Alice Jenh Hsu, Alix Dabb, Ravit Arav-Boger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Inter- and intra-patient variability in voriconazole pharmacokinetics has been described in children as the result of age-specific differences in hepatic metabolism, saturable nonlinear pharmacokinetics, CYP450 2C19 polymorphisms, decreased bioavailability compared with adults, and drug-drug interactions. We introduce dose-dependent autoinduction of metabolism as another cause for altered voriconazole pharmacokinetics in children and summarize previously published literature on this phenomenon. A 10-year-old girl with severe aplastic anemia developed invasive pulmonary aspergillosis after high-dose cyclophosphamide therapy and required high doses of voriconazole for longer than 2 months. She initially achieved a therapeutic trough of 1.4 μg/ml on voriconazole 11 mg/kg/dose orally every 12 hours but required dose escalations to 9.3 mg/kg/dose orally every 8 hours to maintain a trough above 1 μg/ml. Because there were no changes in concomitant medications, route of administration, adherence, or oral intake, we conclude that the only plausible explanation for the precipitous drop in voriconazole troughs was autoinduction of metabolism, a phenomenon previously reported in adults receiving higher than usual doses or prolonged courses (longer than 2 months). These data highlight the need for continued therapeutic drug monitoring of voriconazole after initial therapeutic troughs are achieved because autoinduction of metabolism can lead to significant declines in subsequent voriconazole troughs, potentially leading to treatment failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e20-e26
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015


  • autoinduction of metabolism
  • invasive pulmonary aspergillosis
  • therapeutic drug monitoring
  • voriconazole

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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