European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 297–301 | Cite as

The pharmacokinetics of intravenous, intramuscular, and subcutaneous nalbuphine in healthy subjects

  • M. W. Lo
  • F. H. Lee
  • W. L. Schary
  • C. C. WhitneyJr.


The pharmacokinetics of intravenously, intramuscularly, and subcutaneously administered nalbuphine were studied in three parallel groups of 12 healthy volunteers each. The subjects received single doses of 10 mg and 20 mg of nalbuphine separated by a one week washout period. Blood specimens were obtained up to 15 h after dosing for determination of nalbuphine.

Mean plasma nalbuphine concentrations 5 min after intravenous administration of 10 or 20 mg were 39 and 73 ng/ml, respectively. The mean maximum plasma concentrations (Cmax) after intramuscular or subcutaneous administration of nalbuphine 10 mg were 29 and 31 ng/ml, respectively. Mean Cmax values after 20 mg doses were 60 and 56 ng/ml. Mean Cmax occurred 30 to 40 min after nalbuphine administration. The mean elimination half-lives of parenterally administered nalbuphine ranged between 2.2 and 2.6 h, regardless of dose given or route administered. The mean absolute bioavailability was 81% and 83% for the 10 and 20 mg intramuscular doses, respectively, and 79% and 76% following 10 and 20 mg of subcutaneous nalbuphine. The mean volumes of distribution (Vss) of the intravenously administered drug were 290 and 274 l and the mean systemic clearances were 1.6 and 1.5 l/min following administration of 10 and 20 mg doses, respectively.

Intramuscular and subcutaneous nalbuphine appear to be interchangeable based on the similarities in Cmax, mean times until maximum concentration, mean AUC data, and absolute bioavailabilities.

Key words

nalbuphine pharmacokinetics parenteral administration healthy volunteers 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. W. Lo
    • 1
  • F. H. Lee
    • 2
  • W. L. Schary
    • 2
  • C. C. WhitneyJr.
    • 1
  1. 1.Drug Metabolism SectionDu Pont PharmaceuticalsNewarkUSA
  2. 2.Medical ResearchDu Pont PharmaceuticalsWilmingtonUSA

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