The Influence of Method of Administration and Covariates on the Pharmacokinetics of Propofol in Adult Volunteers

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BackgroundUnresolved issues with propofol include whether the pharmacokinetics are linear with dose, are influenced by method of administration (bolus vs. infusion), or are influenced by age. Recently, a new formulation of propofol emulsion, containing disodium edetate (EDTA), was introduced in the United States. Addition of EDTA was found by the manufacturer to significantly reduce bacterial growth. This study investigated the influences of method of administration, infusion rate, patient covariates, and EDTA on the pharmacokinetics of propofol.MethodsTwenty-four healthy volunteers aged 26–81 yr were given a bolus dose of propofol, followed 1 h later by a 60-min infusion. Each volunteer was randomly assigned to an infusion rate of 25, 50, 100, or 200 micro gram [center dot] kg-1 [center dot] min-1. Each volunteer was studied twice under otherwise identical circumstances: once receiving propofol without EDTA and once receiving propofol with EDTA. The influence of the method of administration and of the volunteer covariates was explored by fitting a three-compartment mamillary model to the data. The influence of EDTA was investigated by direct comparison of the measured concentrations in both sessions.ResultsThe concentrations of propofol with and without EDTA were not significantly different. The concentration measurements after the bolus dose were significantly underpredicted by the parameters obtained just from the infusion data. The kinetics of propofol were linear within the infusion range of 25–200 micro gram [center dot] kg-1 [center dot] min-1. Age was a significant covariate for Volume2 and Clearance2, as were weight, height, and lean body mass for the metabolic clearance.ConclusionsThese results demonstrate that method of administration (bolus vs. infusion), but not EDTA, influences the pharmacokinetics of propofol. Within the clinically relevant range, the kinetics of propofol during infusions are linear regarding infusion rate.

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