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Ethanol-drug absorption interaction: potential for a significant effect on the plasma pharmacokinetics of ethanol vulnerable formulations
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacy.
2009 (English)In: Molecular pharmaceutics, ISSN 1543-8384, Vol. 6, no 5, 1429-1440 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Generally, gastric emptying of a drug to the small intestine is controlled by gastric motor activity and is the main factor affecting the onset of absorption. Accordingly, the emptying rate from the stomach is mainly affected by the digestive state, the properties of the pharmaceutical formulation and the effect of drugs, posture and circadian rhythm. Variability in the gastric emptying of drugs is reflected in variability in the absorption rate and the shape of the plasma pharmacokinetic profile. When ethanol interacts with an oral controlled release product, such that the mechanism controlling drug release is impaired, the delivery of the dissolved dose into the small intestine and the consequent absorption may result in dangerously high plasma concentrations. For example, the maximal plasma concentration of hydromorphone has individually been shown to be increased as much as 16 times through in vivo testing as a result of this specific pharmacokinetic ethanol-drug formulation interaction. Thus, a pharmacokinetic ethanol-drug interaction is a very serious safety concern when substantially the entire dose from a controlled release product is rapidly emptied into the small intestine (dose dumping), having been largely dissolved in a strong alcoholic beverage in the stomach during a sufficient lag-time in gastric emptying. Based on the literature, a two hour time frame for screening the in vitro dissolution profile of a controlled release product in ethanol concentrations of up to 40% is strongly supported and may be considered as the absolute minimum standard. It is also evident that the dilution, absorption and metabolism of ethanol in the stomach are processes with a minor effect on the local ethanol concentration and that ethanol exposure will be highly dependent on the volume and ethanol concentration of the fluid ingested, together with the rate of intake and gastric emptying. When and in which patients a clinically significant dose dumping will happen is almost impossible to predict and will depend on drinking behavior and the highly variable gastrointestinal factors of importance for dissolution, transit and absorption. Therefore, controlled release products which show a vulnerability to ethanol during two hours in vitro should be required to demonstrate clinical safety by going through in vivo testing with an alcoholic beverage of up to 40% ethanol and of a sufficient volume (probably 120 mL or more), consumed in a relatively short period of time. Alternatively, such preparations should be reformulated in accordance with quality-by-design principles.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 6, no 5, 1429-1440 p.
Keyword [en]
Ethanol, controlled release, drug absorption, dose dumping, ethanol-drug interaction, opioids
National Category
Pharmaceutical Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-109449DOI: 10.1021/mp9000876ISI: 000270354400019PubMedID: 19655809OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-109449DiVA: diva2:272485
Available from: 2009-10-15 Created: 2009-10-15 Last updated: 2011-03-07Bibliographically approved

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