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J Pharm Pharmacol. 1995 Jul;47(7):571-5.

Bioavailability and pharmacokinetics of sublingual oxytocin in male volunteers.

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Department of Gynaecology, Academic Hospital Nijmegan, Sint Radboud, The Netherlands.


The aim of this investigation was to assess the bioavailability and pharmacokinetics of oxytocin in six male subjects after a sublingual dose of 400 int. units (684 micrograms) and after an intravenous dose of 1 int. unit (1.71 micrograms). After intravenous administration, the pharmacokinetic profile could be described with a two-compartment model. The distribution half-life was 0.049 +/- 0.106 h, the elimination half-life was 0.33 +/- 0.23 h, the total body clearance was 67.1 +/- 13.4 L h-1 and the volume of distribution was 33.2 +/- 28.1 L. After sublingual administration, a poor bioavailability with a 10-fold variation between 0.007 and 0.07% was observed. The pharmacokinetic profile could be described with a one-compartment model. The lag time was subject-dependent and ranged between 0.12 and 0.30 h (40% CV). The absorption half-life was 0.45 +/- 0.29 h, and the apparent elimination half-life 0.69 +/ - 0.26 h. This study showed a very poor and interindividual variability in bioavailability. The sublingual route of administration with its 'long' lag time and 'long' absorption half-life would not seem a reliable route for accurate high dosing for immediate prevention of post-partum haemorrhage.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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