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Anesthesiology. 2004 Jan;100(1):120-33.

Pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic modeling of morphine-6-glucuronide-induced analgesia in healthy volunteers: absence of sex differences.

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1
Department of Anesthesiology, Leiden University Medical Center, The Netherlands.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Morphine-6-glucuronide (M6G) is a metabolite of morphine and a micro-opioid agonist. To quantify the potency and speed of onset-offset of M6G and explore putative sex dependency, the authors studied the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of M6G in volunteers using a placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blind study design.

METHODS:

Ten men and 10 women received 0.3 mg/kg intravenous M6G and placebo (two thirds of the dose as bolus, one third as a continuous infusion over 1 h) on separate occasions. For 7 h, pain tolerance was measured using gradually increasing transcutaneous electrical stimulation, and blood samples were obtained. A population pharmacokinetic (inhibitory sigmoid Emax)-pharmacodynamic analysis was used to analyze M6G-induced changes in tolerated stimulus intensity. The improvement in model fits by inclusion of covariate sex was tested for significance. P values less than 0.01 were considered significant. Taking into account previous morphine data, a predictive pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic model was constructed to determine the contribution of M6G to morphine analgesia.

RESULTS:

M6G concentrations did not differ between men and women. M6G caused analgesia significantly greater than that observed with placebo (P < 0.01). The M6G analgesia data were well described by the pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic model. The M6G effect site concentration causing a 25% increase in current (C25) was 275 +/- 135 nm (population estimate +/- SE), the blood effect site equilibration half-life was 6.2 +/- 3.3 h, and the steepness parameter was 0.71 +/- 0.18. Intersubject variability was 167% for C25 and 218% for the effect half-life. None of the model parameters showed sex dependency.

CONCLUSIONS:

A cumulative dose of 0.3 mg/kg M6G, given over 1 h, produces long-term analgesia greater than that observed with placebo, with equal dynamics (potency and speed of onset-offset) in men and women. Possible causes for the great intersubject response variability, such as genetic polymorphism of the micro-opioid receptor and placebo-related phenomena, are discussed. The predictive pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic model was applied successfully and was used to estimate M6G analgesia after morphine in patients with normal and impaired renal function.

PMID:
14695733
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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