European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

, Volume 49, Issue 1–2, pp 127–137 | Cite as

Pharmacokinetics of thiopental after single and multiple intravenous doses in critical care patients

  • H. Russo
  • J. Brès
  • M. P. Duboin
  • B. Roquefeuil
Pharmacokinetics And Disposition


Thiopental was administered to neurosurgical patients for cerebral protection and its pharmacokinetic parameters were determined after a single bolus of 540, 1000 or 1500 mg (3 subjects) or after multiple doses of 250 mg (5 subjects) and 500 mg (2 subjects) every two hours for up to 7 days. The data were analysed by a two- or three- compartment model and linear kinetics. After a single IV bolus, the mean initial volume of distribution (V1) was 0.4811·kg−1, and the steady-state volume of distribution (Vss) was 2.16 1·kg−1. The distribution (t1/2α) and elimination (t1/2β) half-lives were 0.590 and 5.89 h, respectively, and the mean residence time (MRT) was 7.44 h. The clearance was 5.41 ml·min−1·kg−1. With repeated injections, the pharmacokinetic parameters for each patient were estimated taking into account all administered doses and blood samples, which were taken whenever possible daily at steady state and after the last dose. The variability observed in the pharmacokinetic parameters of thiopental reflected by the coefficient of variation (CV%) was wide but was of similar magnitude within patients (CVintra) as it was between patients (CVinter). The steady-state trough plasma concentration (Cmin obs) ranged from 4.8 to 30 mg·1−1 (mean 16.0 mg·1−1 and median 14.3 mg·1−1). Peak concentrations (Cmax obs) ranged from 8.35 to 45 mg·1−1 (25.4 mg·1−1, and median 23.3 mg·1−1). The values of V1 and Vss were similar to those obtained after a single dose. For V1, the mean was 0.333 1·kg−1. The mean Vss was 2.68 1·kg−1, with a CVintra of 12.6 to 56% and a CVinter of 13.2%. A shorter distribution half-life t1/2α was noted on multiple dosing; the mean value was 0.122 h. The elimination half-life t1/2β and the mean residence time became longer due to a decrease in clearance. For t1/2β the mean value was 16.3 h. The mean MRT was 21.9 h, CVintra 9.19 to 48.5%, and the CVinter 35.3%. The mean clearance was 2.16 ml·min−1·kg−1, CVintra 7.28 to 25.5%, and the CVinter 20.4%. This value is 50% lower than after a single dose.

Identification of the kinetic parameters of thiopental allows simulation of the effects of doses on subsequent plasma levels and will permit a priori prediction of day to day adjustment of drug dosage.

Key words

Thiopental Pharmacokinetic modelling pharmacokinetics single dose multiple dosing neurosurgical patients variability 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Russo
    • 1
    • 2
  • J. Brès
    • 2
    • 4
  • M. P. Duboin
    • 3
  • B. Roquefeuil
    • 3
  1. 1.Pharmacie Saint-EloiCentre Hospitalier UniversitaireMontpellier Cédex 5France
  2. 2.Laboratoire de PharmacocinétiqueFaculté de PharmacieMontpellierFrance
  3. 3.Department d'Anesthésie-Réanimation (DAR B)Centre Hospitalier UniversitaireMontpellier Cédex 5France
  4. 4.Faculté de PharmacieLaboratoire de PharmacocinétiqueMontpellier Cédex 01France

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