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Br J Clin Pharmacol. 1995 Apr;39(4):452-5.

Pharmacokinetics of ifosfamide and its enantiomers following a single 1 h intravenous infusion of the racemate in patients with small cell lung carcinoma.

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Postgraduate Studies in Pharmaceutical Technology, School of Pharmacy, University of Bradford.


Ifosfamide is a chiral pro-drug which is administered clinically in its racemic form. Serum concentrations of rac-ifosfamide and its enantiomers were measured in 12 patients with lung carcinoma following a mean (+/- s.d.) intravenous dose of 4.2 (0.83) g infused over 1 h. The mean (+/- s.d.) volumes of distribution (VSS) of rac, (R)- and (S)-ifosfamide were 0.61 (0.17), 0.60 (0.16) and 0.61 (0.19) l kg-1, respectively. The mean (+/- s.d.) half-lives and clearances were 6.57 (1.69), 7.12 (1.92) and 5.98 (1.52) h and 0.065 (0.013), 0.060 (0.013) and 0.072 (0.014) l h-1 kg-1 for rac, (R)- and (S)-ifosfamide, respectively. The half-life of (S)-ifosfamide was significantly (P < 0.001) shorter than that of (R)-ifosfamide and it had a significantly higher clearance (P < 0.001). There was no significant difference in the volumes of distribution of the enantiomers. The clinical significance of the faster elimination of (S)-ifosfamide is not known.

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