Physiologically-Based Pharmacokinetics Modeling for Hydroxychloroquine as a Treatment for Malaria and Optimized Dosing Regimens for Different Populations

Authors: Zhai J, Ji B, Cai L, Liu S, Sun Y, Wang J
Publication: J Pers Med
Software: ADMET Predictor®
Therapeutic Areas: Anti-effective


Malaria is a severe parasite infectious disease with high fatality. As one of the approved treatments of this disease, hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) lacks clinical administration guidelines for patients with special health conditions and co-morbidities. This may result in improper dosing for different populations and lead them to suffer from severe side effects. One of the most important toxicities of HCQ overdose is cardiotoxicity. In this study, we built and validated a physiologically based pharmacokinetic modeling (PBPK) model for HCQ. With the full-PBPK model, we predicted the pharmacokinetic (PK) profile for malaria patients without other co-morbidities under the HCQ dosing regimen suggested by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidance. The PK profiles for different special populations were also predicted and compared to the normal population. Moreover, we proposed a series of adjusted dosing regimens for different populations with special health conditions and predicted the concentration-time (C-T) curve of the drug plasma concentration in these populations which include the pregnant population, elderly population, RA patients, and
renal impairment populations. The recommended special population-dependent dosage regimens can maintain the similar drug levels observed in the virtual healthy population under the original dosing regimen provided by FDA. Last, we developed mathematic formulas for predicting dosage
based on a patient’s body measurements and two indexes of renal function (glomerular filtration rate and serum creatine level) for the pediatric and morbidly obese populations. Those formulas can facilitate personalized treatment of this disease. We hope to provide some advice to clinical practice when taking HCQ as a treatment for malaria patients with special health conditions or co-morbidities so that they will not suffer from severe side effects due to higher drug plasma concentration, especially ardiotoxicity.

By Jingchen Zhai, Beihong Ji, Lianjin Cai, Shuhan Liu, Yuchen Sun & Junmei Wang