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J Pharm Sci. 1997 Jan;86(1):52-6.

Comparison of plasma and free tissue levels of ceftriaxone in rats by microdialysis.

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Department of Pharmaceutics, College of Pharmacy, University of Florida, Gainesville 32610, USA.


Ceftriaxone has a very high plasma protein binding (up to 98%) that is saturable and decreases with higher concentrations. This high protein binding results in high concentrations in plasma that are frequently related to the anti-infective activity. However, because only the free fraction of the drug is pharmacologically active and most of the infections are located in the tissues, it is more relevant to evaluate unbound concentrations in the interstitial space. Plasma and tissue pharmacokinetics of ceftriaxone in rats after single intravenous administration were investigated at two different concentrations (50 and 100 mg/kg). Both plasma and tissue samples were taken simultaneously from the same animal and analyzed by reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography. Free tissue levels in the thigh muscle were measured by microdialysis. The concentration in plasma is much higher than the free concentration in tissue. After determination of nonlinear protein binding by microdialysis and including these parameters in the pharmacokinetic model, it is possible to predict free concentrations in the interstitial space from plasma levels for any given dose.

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