Hydroxychloroquine PK and exposure-response in pregnancies with lupus: the importance of adherence for neonatal outcomes.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

OBJECTIVE: Evaluate the impact of pregnancy physiology and medication non-adherence on serum hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) pharmacokinetics (PK) and exposure-response in SLE. METHODS: We conducted a PK analysis using data from two observational pregnancy registries. We enrolled pregnant women with SLE taking HCQ at least 3 months prior to, and throughout pregnancy, and excluded those with multiple gestations. Using the PK model, we conducted dosing simulations and imputed 0%/20%/40%/60% non-adherence to evaluate the impact of adherence versus physiological changes on HCQ concentrations. We compared the effect of pregnancy-average non-adherent concentrations (≤100 ng/mL vs >100 ng/mL) on preterm birth using adjusted logistic regression. RESULTS: We enrolled 56 women who had 61 pregnancies. By the third trimester, mean apparent HCQ clearance increased by 59.6%. At a dosage of 400 mg/day, fully adherent patients are expected to have HCQ concentrations ≤100 ng/mL only 0.3% of the time, compared with 24.2% when 60% of doses are missed. Persistently low HCQ concentrations throughout pregnancy were associated with a significantly higher odds of preterm birth, controlling for lupus nephritis and race (OR 11.2; 95% CI 2.3 to 54.2; p=0.003). CONCLUSIONS: We observed significant changes in HCQ PK during pregnancy, resulting in a shortening in the drug's half-life by 10 days; however, medication non-adherence had a more pronounced effect on HCQ exposure compared with physiological changes alone. Moreover, pregnant women with non-adherent HCQ concentrations had significantly higher rates of preterm birth. Accordingly, optimising adherence in pregnancy may be more clinically meaningful than adjusting HCQ dosage to account for physiological changes. PK modelling indicates that serum HCQ concentrations ≤100 ng/mL are suggestive of non-adherence regardless of trimester and may help identify pregnancies at risk for poor outcomes.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Balevic, SJ; Weiner, D; Clowse, MEB; Eudy, AM; Maharaj, AR; Hornik, CP; Cohen-Wolkowiez, M; Gonzalez, D

Published Date

  • January 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 9 / 1

PubMed ID

  • 34996856

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8744126

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2053-8790

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1136/lupus-2021-000602


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England