Effect of dipyridamole on zidovudine pharmacokinetics and short-term tolerance in asymptomatic human immunodeficiency virus-infected subjects

C. W. Hendrix, C. Flexner, J. Szebeni, S. Kuwahara, S. Pennypacker, J. N. Weinstein, P. S. Lietman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Zidovudine delays the progression of infection and prolongs the survival of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients, but these benefits are limited by dose-related toxicity and the cost of the drug. Dipyridamole, in micromolar concentrations, acts synergistically with zidovudine, reducing the anti-HIV 95% inhibitory concentration of zidovudine 5- to 10-fold in vitro. We sought to establish a well-tolerated dose of dipyridamole for use in combination with zidovudine and to detect clinically significant pharmacokinetic interactions. Both objectives are essential for planning studies of the efficacy of the zidovudine-dipyridamole combination. Eleven asymptomatic HIV-infected subjects (median CD4+ cell count, 311 cells per mm3), 10 of whom had been on zidovudine at 500 mg/day for at least 6 months, were admitted to the study. Zidovudine pharmacokinetics were measured on day 1. Dipyridamole was then begun at 600 mg/day (subjects 1 to 3) or 450 mg/day (subjects 4 to 11), and zidovudine and dipyridamole pharmacokinetics were measured on day 5. All subjects given 600 mg of dipyridamole per day developed headache or nausea, or both. Six of eight subjects given dipyridamole at 450 mg/day developed headache or mild nausea that resolved after a median of 2 days. The area under the zidovudine concentration-time curve was not significantly different on day 1 in comparison with that on day 5 (P = 0.11). Symptoms were significantly correlated with the maximum zidovudine concentrations, which were achieved when dipyridamole was dosed concomitantly (p = 0.03). Total (free and protein-bound) dipyridamole trough concentrations were near those demonstrating synergy with zidovudine against HIV in vitro. Dipyridamole was highly protein bound, with a median free/total dipyridamole ratio of 0.7%; the percent free/total dipyridamole ratio was inversely correlated with alpha1 acid glycoprotein concentrations (r2 = 0.66). Results of the study indicate that adjustment of the zidovudine dose was not required to achieve equivalent zidovudine concentrations when zidovudine was administered in combination with dipyridamole at the doses studied. In the short study described here, the zidovudine-dipyridamole combination was well tolerated in asymptomatic HIV-infected subjects after the occurrence of mild transient symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1036-1040
Number of pages5
JournalAntimicrobial agents and chemotherapy
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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