Pharmacokinetics of oral ibuprofen for patent ductus arteriosus closure in preterm infants

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Oral ibuprofen has been shown to be associated with excellent patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) closure rates and a favourable safety profile, but limited data exist regarding its pharmacokinetics in preterm infants.


To evaluate pharmacokinetic parameters of oral ibuprofen in preterm infants.


Plasma ibuprofen levels were determined at various time points, and pharmacokinetic profiles were calculated after a single dose of 10 mg/kg of oral ibuprofen. The rate of ductal closure, adverse effects and patients' clinical course were recorded.


The authors studied 13 preterm infants (mean gestational age±SD 27.8±2.4 weeks, mean birth weight 1052±443 g). PDA closure was obtained in all patients after a single dose. Ibuprofen levels were detectable 1 h after administration, peaked after 8 h and remained in a relative plateau until 24 h postadministration. Area under the curve (AUC)0→24 was higher than levels reported with intravenous treatment. No adverse effects were observed.


Oral administration of ibuprofen in very preterm infants is associated with excellent absorption and a high AUC0→24, and may be an alternative to intravenous administration.

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