Objective: To investigate and to compare the steady-state plasma pharmacokinetics of nevirapine in a dosing regimen of 400 mg once daily versus 200 mg twice daily in HIV-1-infected individuals. Design: Open-label, randomized, cross-over study. Methods: Twenty HIV-1-infected individuals who already used nevirapine as part of their antiretroviral regimen were randomized to continue their current regimen (200 mg twice daily) or to switch to the alternate regimen (400 mg once daily). The steady-state plasma pharmacokinetics of nevirapine were assessed after 2 weeks during a 24-h period. Subsequently, patients were switched to the alternate regimen and the pharmacokinetics of nevirapine were assessed again after 2 weeks. Noncompartmental methods were used to calculate the area under the plasma concentration versus time curve (AUC([24 h])), and the maximal (C(max)) and minimal plasma concentration (C(min)), the time to C(max) (t(max)), the plasma elimination half-life (t(1/2)), the apparent oral clearance (Cl/F) and the apparent volume of distribution (V/F). Differences in these pharmacokinetic parameters for the two dosing regimens were tested using ANOVA. Results: The exposure to nevirapine, as measured by the AUC([24 h]), was not significantly different between the 400 mg once daily and 200 mg twice daily dosing regimen (P = 0.60). Furthermore, the values for t(max), t(1/2) Cl/F and V/F were not significantly different between the two dosing regimens (P ≥ 0.08). However, C(max) and C(min) were higher and lower, respectively, when nevirapine was used in the once daily regimen as compared with the twice daily regimen. The median values for C(max) and C(min) as measured for the once daily and twice daily regimens were 6.69 and 5.74 μg/ml, respectively (P = 0.03), and 2.88 and 3.73 μg/ml, respectively (P < 0.01). Conclusion: These data show that the daily exposure to nevirapine, as measured by the plasma AUC([24 h]), is not different between a 400 mg once daily and a 200 mg twice daily dosing regimen. However, C(max) and C(min) are higher and lower, respectively, for the once daily regimen as compared with the twice daily regimen. The clinical implications of these differences remain to be established. (C) 2000 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.