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Cohen H; Howland MA; Luciano DJ; Rubin RN; Kutt H; Hoffman RS; Leung LK; Devinsky O; Goldfrank LR
"Feasibility and pharmacokinetics of carbamazepine oral loading doses"
American journal of health-system pharmacy. AJHP 1998 Jun 1; 55(11):1134-1140
The pharmacokinetics and adverse effects of an oral loading dose of carbamazepine administered in tablet or suspension form were studied. Patients on a hospital epilepsy unit who were to receive carbamazepine as a discharge medication were randomly assigned to receive either an oral 8-mg/kg loading dose of the tablet formulation or the same dose of the suspension on an empty stomach. Blood samples were drawn before and at intervals up to 12 hours after the loading dose. Adverse effects were evaluated subjectively and objectively. Total and free serum carbamazepine and carbamazepine-10, 11-epoxide (CBZE) concentrations were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography. Six adult patients were enrolled in and completed the study. All the patients achieved therapeutic total carbamazepine levels; the suspension group did so within two hours and the tablet group within five hours. Maximum serum carbamazepine concentrations ranged from 7.10 to 9.92 mg/L, area under the concentration-versus-time curve from 54.85 to 82.23 micrograms.hr/L, and terminal elimination half-life from 14.05 to 15.71 hours. Adverse effects were mild, few, and short-lived; none of the patients developed gastrointestinal toxicity. Adverse effects were not associated with total or free carbamazepine and CBZE concentrations or with total or free CBZE:carbamazepine ratios. An oral loading dose of carbamazepine 8 mg/kg achieved therapeutic levels within two hours when given as a suspension and within five hours when given as tablets and was well tolerated in all patients

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