Efficacy, Safety, and Breakthrough Infections Associated with Standard Long-Term Posaconazole Antifungal Prophylaxis in Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation Recipients
Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation
Based on favorable results from randomized clinical trials, oral posaconazole has been approved for prophylaxis in neutropenic patients and stem cell transplantation (SCT) recipients. However, routine use of a prophylactic drug may yield different results than those from clinical trials. We collected data on the efficacy, safety, breakthrough infections, and antimicrobial resistance associated with standard long-term posaconazole prophylaxis in adult allogeneic SCTrecipients at the UCLA Medical
... Center. Oral posaconazole (200 mg 3 times daily) was started on day 1 after SCT and continued until day 100. After day 100, posaconazole was continued in patients who still required corticosteroids for prevention or treatment of graft-versus-host disease. From January 2007 through December 2008, 106 consecutive patients received prophylactic posaconazole. Breakthrough invasive fungal infections on posaconazole occurred in 8 patients (7.5%) within 6 months after SCT; 3 additional patients developed invasive fungal infection after discontinuation of prophylactic posaconazole. The infective organisms were Candida (8 cases), Aspergillus (2 cases), and Aspergillus plus Coccidioides immitis (1 case). There were no Zygomycetes infections. Only 2 (both Candida glabrata) of 9 infecting isolates tested were resistant to posaconazole (minimal inhibitory concentration .1 mg/mL). Mortality from invasive fungal infection occurred in 4 patients (3.7%). Except for nausea in 9 patients, no clinical adverse event or laboratory abnormality could be attributed to posaconazole. Mean peak and trough plasma posaconazole concentrations were relatively low (\400 ng/mL) in neutropenic patients with oral mucositis and other factors possibly affecting optimal absorption of posaconazole. These results demonstrate that standard long-term oral posaconazole prophylaxis after allogeneic SCT is safe and associated with few invasive mold infections. However, breakthrough infections caused by posaconazole-susceptible organisms (frequently Candida) may occur at currently recommended prophylactic doses. Thus, strategies to improve posaconazole exposure, including the use of higher doses, administration with an acidic beverage, and restriction of proton pump inhibitors, need to be considered when using prophylactic posaconazole.