Voriconazole metabolism, toxicity, and the effect of cytochrome P450 2C19 genotype

Dimitrios Zonios, Hiroshi Yamazaki, Norie Murayama, Ven Natarajan, Tara Palmore, Richard Childs, Jeff Skinner, John E. Bennett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Background. Prospective evaluation of the antifungal drug, voriconazole, is needed to determine whether drug toxicity correlates with CYP2C19 genotype or serum concentrations of voriconazole or its metabolites. Methods. We conducted a prospective study of 95 patients to determine voriconazole toxicity and its relationship to genotype and serum levels of voriconazole and its two metabolites. Efficacy was not evaluated because, in most cases, the drug was given for empirical or prophylactic therapy. Results. Hallucinations occurred in 16 patients (16.8%), visual changes in 17 (17.9%), photosensitivity in 10 (10.5%), and hepatotoxicity in 6 (6.3%). There was no correlation between photosensitivity or hepatotoxicity and levels of voriconazole or metabolites. Patients with hallucinations had higher average voriconazole levels (4.5 vs 2.5 μg/mL) but with extensive overlap. The recommended oral dose of 200 mg did not provide consistently detectable serum voriconazole levels in adults. CYP2C19 and CYP2C9 genotypes had a minor influence over levels, though the 4 patients homozygous for the 2C19*2 genotype had higher average levels for voriconazole (4.3 vs 2.5 μg/mL) and lower N-oxide levels (1.6 vs 2.5 μg/mL). Conclusions. CYP2C19 and 2C9 genotypes were not major determinants of voriconazole metabolism. No toxic serum level of voriconazole or its metabolites could be identified.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1941-1948
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 15 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • CYP2C19
  • metabolites
  • toxicity
  • voriconazole

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


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