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Acta Paediatr Scand. 1978 Mar;67(2):193-200.

Phenobarbital metabolism in adults and in newborn infants.

Abstract

Two adult volunteers and four newborn infants were given a single dose of phenobarbital. The output in the urine o f unchanged phenobartital and of the two main metabolites p-hydroxy phenobarbital and conjugated p-hydroxy phenobarbital was followed during 8 days in the newborns and during 2 or 4 weeks in the adults. The plasma levels were also determined and some pharmacokinetic constants calculated. It was found that the newborn patients excreted unchanged phenobartibal and p-hydroxy phenobarbital in the same proportions relative to dose as did the adult volunteers, 2.e. 16--17% unchanged drug and 9--10% of the metabolite during the first 8 days after administration. On the other hand, there was a clear-cut age difference in output of conjugated metabolite where the newborns excreted only 5% of the given dose during the 8-day observation period. The corresponding value for the adults was 15%. It is concluded that a poor conjugating capacity in the newborn may not have any serious consequences with a drug like phenobarbital where major alternative routes of excretion exist (unchanged drug and unconjugated metabolite). The clinical significance of immature drug metabolites and of unchanged drug is taken into consideration.

PMID:
626078
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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