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Clin Pharmacol Ther. 1990 Jan;47(1):12-9.

Morphine and metabolite behavior after different routes of morphine administration: demonstration of the importance of the active metabolite morphine-6-glucuronide.

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Imperial Cancer Research Fund Department of Medical Oncology, St. Bartholomew's Hospital, London, England.


The pharmacokinetic parameters of morphine, morphine-6-glucuronide, and morphine-3-glucuronide were studied after single-dose morphine administration by five different routes. The quantitative significance of the active metabolite morphine-6-glucuronide was assessed, and the effects of novel dosing forms on morphine metabolism and distribution were examined. After administration of intravenous morphine the morphine-6-glucuronide plasma AUC exceeded that of morphine. After administration of oral morphine very low morphine levels were observed--the morphine-6-glucuronide plasma AUC exceeded that of morphine by a factor of 9:1. Sublingual, buccal, and sustained-release buccal morphine tablet administration resulted in delayed absorption, with attenuation and delay of peak morphine and metabolite levels. Morphine bioavailability and morphine glucuronide production were not altered.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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