Erythromycin absorption in healthy volunteers from single and multiple doses of enteric-coated pellets and tablets

  • T. Hovi
  • K. Josefsson
  • O. V. Renkonen


The absorption of erythromycin from two different enteric-coated preparations was evaluated in three groups of healthy volunteers. After a single dose, taken after an overnight fast, absorption was significantly better from enteric-coated pellets than from tablets; both the mean peak serum concentration and the peak mean level were higher (p<0.01) in all three groups, and the mean area under the serum concentration-time curve (AUC) was at least 65% larger. Eight out of 23 subjects showed no or only a very low serum concentration after the enteric-coated tablets. In a follow-up study, 250 mg doses were given 6-hourly for 3 days, and again the mean maximum serum concentration was significantly higher (p<0.05) after the pellets. In conclusion, enteric-coated pellets led to more regular and predictable absorption of erythromycin than did coated tablets.

Key words

erythromycin tablets absorption enteric-coated pellets blood concentrations healthy volunteers pharmacokinetics 


  1. 1.
    McDonald PJ, Mather LE, Story M (1977) Studies on absorption of a newly developed enteric-coated erythromycin base. J Clin Pharmacol 17: 601–606PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Josefsson K, Bergan T, Magni L (1982a) Dose-related pharmacokinetics after oral administration of a new formulation of erythromycin base. Br J Clin Pharmacol 13: 685–691PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    DiSanto AR, Chodos DJ (1981) Influence of study design in assessing food effects on absorption of erythromycin base and erythromycin stearate. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 20: 190–196PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Watanabe Y, Sano M, Motohashi K, Yoneda R (1978) Effect of dissolving pH of enteric coating agent on bioavailability of enteric-coated tablets of erythromycin in man. Yakugaku Zasshi 98: 1092–1100PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Grove DC, Randall WA (1955) Assay Methods of antibiotics. Encyclopedia Inc. New York, pp 31–33Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Rutland J, Berend N, Marlin GE (1979) The influence of food on the bioavailability of new formulations of erythromycin stearate and base. Brit J Clin Pharmacol 8: 343–347Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Josefsson K, Steinbakk M, Bergan T, Midtvedt T, Magni L (1982b) Pharmacokinatics of a new microencapsulated erythromycin base after repeated oral doses. Chemotherapy 28: 176–184PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Bergan T, Hellum KB, Schreiner A, Digranes A, Josefsson K (1982) Passage of erythromycin into human suction skin blisters. Curr Therap Res 32: 597–603Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Chun AH, Seitz JA (1977) Pharmacokinetics and biological availability of erythromycin. Infection 2 [Suppl 1]: 14–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Hovi
    • 1
  • K. Josefsson
    • 3
  • O. V. Renkonen
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of VirologyUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.Department of Bacteriology and ImmunologyUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  3. 3.Clinical ResearchAstra Läkemedel ABSödertäljeSweden

Personalised recommendations