Send to

Choose Destination
J Pharm Sci. 1979 Jun;68(6):753-71.

Pharmacokinetics of morphine and its surrogates. III: Morphine and morphine 3-monoglucuronide pharmacokinetics in the dog as a function of dose.


The pharmacokinetics of morphine and its derived metabolite, morphine 3-monoglucuronide, were studied in normal and bile-cannulated dogs. High doses (7.2-7.7 mg/kg iv) caused renal and biliary shutdowns and time lags in urinary drug and metabolite excretion and in biliary secretion of the hepatically formed conjugate. Intermediate doses (0.41-0.47 mg/kg iv) inhibited urine flow but not renal clearance. Low doses (0.019-0.07 mg/kg iv) had no apparent effect. Dose-related effects on the total, metabolic, and biliary clearances imply saturable enzymes and/or dose-inhibited hepatic flows, accounting for the major elimination half-lives of 83 +/- 8 and 37 +/- 13 min at the high and low doses, respectively. The slow terminal phase in plasma morphine and metabolite elimination and urinary accumulation is due apparently to the enterohepatic metabolite recirculation after biliary excretion, gastrointestinal hydrolysis, and hepatic first-pass reconjugation. Bile-cannulated dogs showed no fecal drug and no slow terminal plasma and urine elimination phases. Intravenous morphine 3-monoglucuronide was eliminated only renally and showed neither biliary excretion nor prolonged hepatically formed glucuronide elimination. Hepatic morphine clearances at normal therapeutic doses parallel hepatic blood flow and explain the lack of oral morphine bioavailability by anticipating complete first-pass liver metabolism. Renal morphine and morphine conjugate clearances were 85 (+/- 9 SEM) and 41 (+/- 4 SEM) ml/min, respectively, indicating glomerular filtration for the latter and glomerular filtration plus tubular secretion for the former. Urinary morphine and morphine conjugate excretion accounted for approximately to 83% of the dose. Biliary secretion accounted for 11-14% of the dose. Morphine showed dose-independent plasma protein binding of 36 (+/- 1 SEM) % and a red cell-plasma water partition coefficient of 1.11 +/- 0.04 SD. New equations were developed to model the discontinuous morphine and morphine metabolite pharmacokinetics.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center