Background: Digoxin is an important treatment option for reducing the ventricular rate in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) and heart failure (HF). Digoxin has a narrow therapeutic window and large interindividual variability. A low target blood concentration, especially ≤0.9 ng/mL, is recommended for patients with HF who are taking digoxin. This study aimed to develop a population pharmacokinetic model and to identify clinical factors that affect digoxin exposure and an optimal digoxin dosing regimen in Japanese patients with AF and HF. Methods: A population pharmacokinetic analysis was performed by using a nonlinear mixed effects model based on 3465 concentration points from 391 patients (>18 years) who were receiving oral digoxin. Using trough serum digoxin concentrations and clinical data, a population pharmacokinetic model was developed for determining covariates of clearance. A 1-compartment model was used to examine the interindividual variability of the oral clearance (CL/F) of digoxin. An appropriate dosage of digoxin was identified using Monte Carlo simulation. Results: The final model demonstrated that creatinine clearance (CLCR) and the use of amiodarone were factors that contributed to the CL/F of digoxin. Monte Carlo simulation results showed that with a daily maintenance dose of 0.25 mg, the intoxication risk window of a trough serum concentration of ≥0.9 ng/mL could be reached in more than half of patients regardless of renal function category or concurrent use of amiodarone. The appropriate maintenance dosage was 0.125 mg daily for most Japanese patients with AF and HF. However, with a daily dose of 0.125 mg, a trough serum concentration of ≥0.9 ng/mL could be reached in more than half of patients with renal impairments (CLCR 30 mL/min) or concurrent use of amiodarone. A daily maintenance dose of 0.0625 mg was acceptable for these patients. Conclusions: CLCR and the use of amiodaron were found to contribute to digoxin clearance using a population pharmacokinetic methodology. For Japanese patients with AF and HF, 0.125 mg is an appropriate daily digoxin maintenance dose, but a dose reduction is required for patients with CLCR <30 mL/min or concurrent amiodarone use.
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