, Volume 24, Issue 6, pp 819-823

Chloramphenicol pharmacokinetics in Ethiopian children of differing nutritional status

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The pharmacokinetics of i.v. chloramphenicol succinate and oral chloramphenicol palmitate were studied in Ethiopian children with different nutritional states. In children with kwashiorkor the plasma clearance of chloramphenicol was significantly lower than in children of normal weight (4.16 ml/min/kg versus 7.53 ml/min/kg). In consequence the mean half-life was prolonged (3.76 h versus 2.85 h) and this led to somewhat higher plasma levels in the kwashiorkor children. The influence of the pathophysiological changes offset one another so that plasma concentrations within the therapeutic range were obtained in children with kwashiorkor given recommended standard i.v. doses. The absorption of chloramphenicol after oral administration in severely malnourished children was erratic, which suggests that this route should be avoided in such patients.