Sulfadiazine plasma concentrations in women with pregnancy-acquired compared to ocular toxoplasmosis under pyrimethamine and sulfadiazine therapy: a case–control study

Ingrid Reiter-Owona, Harald Hlobil, Martin Enders, Ute Klarmann-Schulz, Barbara Gruetzmacher, Veronika Rilling, Achim Hoerauf, Justus G. Garweg
2020 European Journal of Medical Research  
Background Dosing recommendations for the treatment of pregnancy-acquired toxoplasmosis are empirical and widely based on experimental data. There are no pharmacological data on pregnant women with acute Toxoplasma gondii infection under treatment with pyrimethamine (PY) and sulfadiazine (SA) and our study intends to tighten this gap. Methods In this retrospective case–control study, we included 89 pregnant women with primary Toxoplasma infection (PT) treated with PY (50 mg first dose, then 25
more » ... g/day), SA (50 mg/kg of body weight/day), and folinic acid (10–15 mg per week). These were compared to a group of 17 women with acute ocular toxoplasmosis (OT) treated with an initial PY dose of 75 mg, thereafter 25 mg twice a day but on the same SA and folinic acid regimen. The exact interval between drug intake and blood sampling and co-medication had not been recorded. Plasma levels of PY and SA were determined 14 ± 4 days after treatment initiation using liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry and compared using the Mann–Whitney U test at a p < 0.05 level. Results In 23 PT patients (26%), SA levels were below 20 mg/l. Fifteen of these 23 patients (17% of all patients) in parallel presented with PY levels below 700 µg/l. Both drug concentrations differed remarkably between individuals and groups (PY: PT median 810 µg/l, 95% CI for the median [745; 917] vs. OT 1230 µg/l [780; 1890], p = 0.006; SA: PT 46.2 mg/l [39.9; 54.4] vs. OT 70.4 mg/l [52.4; 89], p = 0.015) despite an identical SA dosing scheme. Conclusions SA plasma concentrations were found in the median 34% lower in pregnant women with PT compared to OT patients and fell below a lower reference value of 50 mg/l in a substantial portion of PT patients. The interindividual variability of plasma concentrations in combination with systematically lower drug levels and possibly a lower compliance in pregnant women may thus account for a still not yet supportable transmission risk. Systematic drug-level testing in PT under PY/SA treatment deserves to be considered.
doi:10.1186/s40001-020-00458-7 pmid:33228795 fatcat:7yqdffjpinew7frrzuuzkqhxoe