Pharmacokinetics of single low dose primaquine in Ugandan and Congolese children with falciparum malaria

Mukaka M, Onyamboko MA, Olupot-Olupot P, Peerawaranun P, Suwannasin K, Pagornrat W, Kouhathong J, Madmanee W, Were W, Namayanja C, Onyas P, Titin H, Baseke J, Muhindo R, Kayembe DK, Ndjowo PO, Basara BB, Bongo GS, Okalebo CB, Abongo G, Uyoga S, Williams TN, Taya C, Dhorda M, Dondorp AM, Waithira N, Imwong M, Maitland K, Fanello C, Day NPJ, Tarning J, White NJ, Taylor WRJ
EBioMedicine. 2023;96

Permenent descriptor

BACKGROUND: There are no pharmacokinetic data of single low dose primaquine (SLDPQ) as transmission blocking in African children with acute Plasmodium falciparum and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PDd). METHODS: Primaquine pharmacokinetics of age-dosed SLDPQ (shown previously to be gametocytocidal with similar tolerability as placebo) were characterised in falciparum-infected Ugandan and Congolese children aged 6 months to 11 years, treated on admission with standard 3-day dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine or artemether-lumefantrine plus SLDPQ: 6 m-<1 y: 1.25 mg, 1-5 y: 2.5 mg, 6-9 y: 5 mg, 10-11 y: 7.5 mg. LC-MS/MS-measured plasma primaquine and carboxyprimaquine (baseline, 1, 1.5, 2, 4, 8, 12, 24 h) were analysed by noncompartmental analysis. Multivariable linear regression modelled associations between covariates, including cytochrome-P450 2D6 metaboliser status, and outcomes. FINDINGS: 258 children (median age 5 [interquartile range (IQR) 3-7]) were sampled; 8 (3.1%) with early vomiting were excluded. Primaquine doses of 0.10-0.40 (median 0.21, IQR 0.16-0.25) mg base/kg resulted in primaquine maximum plasma concentrations (Cmax) of 2.3-447 (median 103.0, IQR 72.1-140.0) ng/mL between 1.0 and 8.0 (median 2) hours (T(max)) and median areas under the drug concentration curves (AUC(0-last)) 730.2 (6 m-<1 y, n = 12), 582.8 (1-5 y, n = 126), 871.1 (6-9 y, n = 80), and 931.0 (10-11 y, n = 32) ng∗h/mL. Median elimination half-live (T½) was 4.7 (IQR 3.8-5.6) hours. Primaquine clearance/kg peaked at 18 months, plateauing at 4 y. Increasing CYP2D6 metaboliser activity score [poor (3/250), intermediate (52/250), normal (150/250), ultrarapid (5/250), indeterminate (40/250)] and baseline haemoglobin were significantly associated with a lower primaquine AUC(0-last),which increased with increasing mg/kg dose and age but was independent of the artemisinin treatment used. INTERPRETATION: Age-dosed SLDPQ resulted in variable primaquine exposure that depended on bodyweight-adjusted dose, age, baseline haemoglobin and CYP2D6 metaboliser status, but not on dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine or artemether-lumefantrine. These data support age-dosed SLDPQ for transmission blocking in sub-Saharan Africa. FUNDING: This work was cofunded by the UK Medical Research Council, Wellcome Trust, and UK Aid through the Global Health Trials (grant reference MR/P006973/1). The funders had no role in the study design, execution, and analysis and decisions regarding publication.