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Br J Clin Pharmacol. 1981 Aug;12(2):149-53.

Effects of microsomal enzyme induction on paracetamol metabolism in man.


1 The metabolism of paracetamol after a single oral dose of 20 mg/kg was compared in fifteen patients with microsomal enzyme induction taking anticonvulsants or rifampicin and twelve healthy volunteers. 2 Induction was confirmed by measurement of the plasma antipyrine half-life (mean 6.4 h in the patients compared with 12.8 h in the volunteers). 3 The glucuronide conjugation of paracetamol was enhanced in the induced patients as shown by lower plasma paracetamol concentrations, a shorter paracetamol half-life, higher paracetamol glucuronide concentrations and an increased ratio of the area under the plasma concentration time curves of the glucuronide to the unchanged drug. There were no significant differences in sulphate conjugation. 4 There was a corresponding change in the pattern of urinary metabolite excretion. The induced patients excreted significantly less unchanged drug and sulphate conjugate and more glucuronide conjugate than the healthy volunteers. 5 The urinary excretion of the mercapturic acid and cysteine conjugated of paracetamol was the same in both groups. 6 Conversion of paracetamol to its potentially hepatotoxic metabolite does not seem to be increased in patients induced with anticonvulsants or rifampicin. There would seem to be no contraindication to the use of these drugs in combination.

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