Non-linear absorption pharmacokinetics of amoxicillin: consequences for dosing regimens and clinical breakpoints

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Abstract

Objectives

To describe the population pharmacokinetics of oral amoxicillin and to compare the PTA of current dosing regimens.

Methods

Two groups, each with 14 healthy male volunteers, received oral amoxicillin/clavulanic acid tablets on two separate days 1 week apart. One group received 875/125 mg twice daily and 500/125 mg three times daily and the other group 500/125 mg twice daily and 250/125 mg three times daily. A total of 1428 amoxicillin blood samples were collected before and after administration. We analysed the concentration–time profiles using a non-compartmental pharmacokinetic method (PKSolver) and a population pharmacokinetic method (NONMEM). The PTA was computed using Monte Carlo simulations for several dosing regimens.

Results

AUC0–24 and Cmax increased non-linearly with dose. The final model included the following components: Savic's transit compartment model, Michaelis–Menten absorption, two distribution compartments and first-order elimination. The mean central volume of distribution was 27.7 L and mean clearance was 21.3 L/h. We included variability for the central volume of distribution (34.4%), clearance (25.8%), transit compartment model parameters and Michaelis–Menten absorption parameters. For 40% fT>MIC and >97.5% PTA, the breakpoints were 0.125 mg/L (500 mg twice daily), 0.25 mg/L (250 mg three times daily and 875 mg twice daily), 0.5 mg/L (500 mg three times daily) and 1 mg/L (750, 875 or 1000 mg three times daily and 500 mg four times daily).

Conclusions

The amoxicillin absorption rate appears to be saturable. The PTAs of high-dose as well as twice-daily regimens are less favourable than regimens with lower doses and higher frequency.

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