The pharmacokinetics of diclofenac sodium following intravenous and oral administration


The pharmacokinetics of diclofenac were examined following single rapid intravenous injection and also following single oral doses to healthy female volunteers. After intravenous injection plasma levels of diclofenac fell rapidly and were below the limits of detection at 5.5 h postdosing. Individual drug profiles were described by a triexponential function and mean half-lives of the three exponential phases were 0.05, 0.26 and 1.1 h. After oral doses of enteric-coated tablets, the lag time between dosing and the appearance of drug in plasma varied between 1.0 and 4.5 h. However once drug absorption had commenced similar plasma drug profiles were obtained in different individuals. Peak plasma diclofenac levels ranged from 1.4 to 3.0 µg · ml−1. The mean terminal drug half-life in plasma was 1.8 h after oral doses. This value was not significantly greater than the value of 1.1 h following intravenous doses. Fifty percent of orally dosed diclofenac did not reach the systemic circulation due, predominantly, to first-pass metabolism.

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Willis, J.V., Kendall, M.J., Flinn, R.M. et al. The pharmacokinetics of diclofenac sodium following intravenous and oral administration. Eur J Clin Pharmacol 16, 405–410 (1979).

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Key words

  • diclofenac
  • plasma levels
  • intravenous bolus administration
  • oral administration
  • enteric coating
  • bioavailability