Objective: Our objective was to quantify the pharmacokinetics of methadone and the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of peginterferon alfa-2a (40 kd) in patients with chronic hepatitis C undergoing methadone maintenance therapy. Methods: Adults with chronic hepatitis C who had been receiving a consistent methadone maintenance regimen for at least 3 months were eligible for this open-label, multicenter, nonrandomized drug interaction study. All patients received 180 μg subcutaneous peginterferon alfa-2a once weekly for 4 weeks and continued their methadone regimen. Serial blood samples were collected at baseline and immediately before and for up to 168 hours after study drug administration for the purposes of quantifying methadone and peginterferon alfa-2a serum concentrations, measuring serum 2′,5′-oligoadenylate synthetase activity, and determining hepatitis C virus ribonucleic acid levels. Results: Twenty-four patients were enrolled. Methadone exposure, as measured by maximum serum concentration (Cmax) and area under the concentration-time curve (AUC) normalized to a 100-mg/d dose, after 4 doses of peginterferon alfa-2a increased by 10% to 15% when compared with baseline. The week 4/baseline ratio of the mean Cmax was 1.11 (90% confidence interval [CI], 1.02-1.22), and for AUC from time 0 to 24 hours, the week 4/baseline ratio was 1.15 (90% CI, 1.08-1.23). The mean accumulation ratios (week 4/first dose) for Cmax and AUC from time 0 to 168 hours of peginterferon alfa-2a were 2.1 and 2.3, respectively. Conclusions: Peginterferon alfa-2a does not appreciably alter the pharmacokinetics of methadone.
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