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Pharmacokinetics of pentobarbital after intravenous and oral administration

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The plasma levels in humans of pentobarbital were determined after intravenous administration of a 50 mg dose. It was found that pentobarbital is distributed in at least two kinetically distinct body compartments: a central, or “serum” compartment and a peripheral, or “tissue,” compartment. By use of established mathematical techniques, values were assigned to the rate constants controlling the distribution and overall elimination of the drug from the body. The oral absorption of pentobarbital in fasted and nonfasted subjects was determined by mathematical analysis of the plasma level data following oral administration of a 50 mg dose. It was found that the presence of food significantly reduces the apparent absorption rate constant but not the amount absorbed. The absorption of a second dose, given 1.5 hr after the first dose, in nonfasted subjects was not affected, and a rapid increase in plasma levels occurred after this administration.

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Abstracted from a thesis submitted by R. B. Smith to the Graduate School, in partial fulfillment of the Master of Science degree requirements.

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Smith, R.B., Dittert, L.W., Griffen, W.O. et al. Pharmacokinetics of pentobarbital after intravenous and oral administration. Journal of Pharmacokinetics and Biopharmaceutics 1, 5–16 (1973). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01060024

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Key words

  • absorption kinetics
  • oral pentobarbital
  • effect of food on oral absorption of pentobarbital in humans
  • pentobarbital pharmacokinetics
  • intravenous and oral administration
  • effect of food on barbiturate absorption in humans