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Lec 11 Biopharmaceutics

MULTIPLE-DOSAGE REGIMENS

INTRODUCTION:

After single-dose drug administration, the plasma drug level rises above and then

falls below the minimum effective concentration (MEC), resulting in a decline in

therapeutic effect. To maintain prolonged therapeutic activity, many drugs are

given in a multiple-dosage regimen. The plasma levels of drugs given in multiple

doses must be maintained within the narrow limits of the therapeutic window (eg,

plasma drug concentrations above the MEC but below the minimum toxic

concentration or MTC) to achieve optimal clinical effectiveness.

There are two main parameters that can be adjusted in developing a dosage

regimen: (1) the size of the drug dose and (2) the frequency of drug

administration (i.e., the time interval between doses).

DRUG ACCUMULATION:

early doses of drug do not affect the pharmacokinetics of subsequent doses.

Therefore, the blood levels after the second, third, or nth dose will overlay or

superimpose the blood level attained after the (n-1) the dose. In addition, the AUC

(0 ) following the administration of a single dose equals the AUC=

2

(1 ) during a dosing interval at steady state (figure 1).

blood levels after administration of

multiple doses and accumulation

of blood levels when equal doses

are given at equal time intervals.

1

The principle of superposition allows one to project the plasma drug concentration-

time curve of a drug after multiple consecutive doses based on the plasma drug

concentration-time curve obtained after a single dose. The basic assumptions are

2. That the pharmacokinetics of the drug after a single dose (first dose) is not

altered after taking multiple doses.

drug concentrations after multiple doses given at either equal or unequal dosage

intervals. For example, the plasma drug concentrations may be predicted after a

drug dose is given every 8 hours, or 3 times a day before meals at 8 AM, 12 noon,

and 6 PM.

There are situations in which the superposition principle does not apply. In these

cases, the pharmacokinetics of the drug change after multiple dosing due to various

factors, including 1. Changing pathophysiology in the patient, 2. Saturation of a

drug carrier system, 3. Enzyme induction, and 4. Enzyme inhibition.

If the drug is administered at a fixed dose and a fixed dosage interval, as is the case

with multiple-dose regimens, the amount of drug in the body will increase and then

plateau to a mean plasma level higher than the peak C p obtained from the initial

dose (figure 2).

Figure 2: Amount of drug in the body as a function of time. Equal doses of drug

were given every 6 hours (upper curve) and every 8 hours (lower curve). k a and k

remain constant.

2

When the second dose is given after a time interval shorter than the time required

to "completely" eliminate the previous dose, drug accumulation will occur in the

body. In other words, the plasma concentrations following the second dose will be

higher than corresponding plasma concentrations immediately following the first

dose. However, if the second dose is given after a time interval longer than the time

required to eliminate the previous dose, drug will not accumulate. As repetitive

equal doses are given at a constant frequency, the plasma level-time curve plateaus

and a steady state is obtained.

At steady state, the plasma drug levels fluctuate between C max and C min. Once

steady state is obtained, C max and C min are constant and remain unchanged

from dose to dose.

If a drug produces the same C max at steady state, compared with the (C n =1)

max after the first dose, then there is no drug accumulation. If C max is much

larger than (C n = 1) max, then there is significant accumulation during the

multiple-dose regimen.

Accumulation is affected by the elimination half-life of the drug and the dosing

interval. The index for measuring drug accumulation R is

..1

Substituting for C max after the first dose and at steady state yields

.2

Equation 8.2 shows that drug accumulation measured with the R index depends on

the elimination constant and the dosing interval and is independent of the dose. For

a drug given in repetitive oral doses, the time required to reach steady state is

3

dependent on the elimination half-life of the drug and is independent of the size of

the dose, the length of the dosing interval, and the number of doses.

if the drug is given at the same dosing rate but as an infusion (eg, 25 mg/hr), the

average plasma drug concentrations (C av) will be the same but the fluctuations

between C max and C min will vary (figure 3).

concentration-time curves after IV infusion

and oral multiple doses for a drug with an

elimination half-life of 4 hours and apparent

V D of 10 L. IV infusion given at a rate of 25

mg/hr, oral multiple doses are 200 mg every

8 hours, 300 mg every 12 hours, and 600 mg

every 24 hours.

2

under the curve (AUC) for a dosing period (i.e., 1 ) by the dosing interval ,

at steady state.

An equation for the estimation of the time to reach one-half of the steady-state

plasma levels or the accumulation half-life has been described by Van Rossum and

Toomey (1968)

..3

comparison to k a and can be omitted in the denominator of Equation 3. Thus,

Equation 8.3 reduces to

4

..4

intravenously is the elimination t 1/2 of the drug. From this relationship, the time

to reach 50% steady-state drug concentrations is dependent on the elimination t 1/2

and not on the dose or dosage interval.

If the drug is given at a dosage interval equal to the half-life of the drug, then 6.6

doses are required to reach 99% of the theoretical steady-state plasma drug

concentration.

The maximum amount of drug in the body following a single rapid IV injection is

equal to the dose of the drug. For a one-compartment open model, the drug will be

eliminated according to first-order kinetics.

..5

If is equal to the dosage interval (ie, the time between the first dose and the next

dose), then the amount of drug remaining in the body after several hours can be

determined with

.6

The fraction (f) of the dose remaining in the body is related to the elimination

constant (k) and the dosage interval ( ) as follows:

With any given dose, f depends on k and . If is large, f will be smaller because D

B (the amount of drug remaining in the body) is smaller.

5

Examples 1: A patient receives 1000 mg every 6 hours by repetitive IV injection

of an antibiotic with an elimination halflife of 3 hours. Assume the drug is

distributed according to a one-compartment model and the volume of distribution

is 20 L.

Table 1: Fraction of the Dose in the Body before and after Intravenous Injections

of a 1000-mg Dose

ff

Solution:

6

D max can also be calculated directly by the relationship

b.

, ,

7

Example 2: The patient in the previous example received 1000 mg of an antibiotic

every 6 hours by repetitive IV injection. The drug has an apparent volume of

distribution of 20 L and elimination half-life of 3 hours.

Calculate (a) the plasma drug concentration C p at 3 hours after the second dose,

(b) the steady-state plasma drug concentration C p at 3 hours after the last dose,

(c) C max, (d) C min, and (e) C SS.

a.

b.

c.

8

d.

e.

Equation 8 describes the plasma drug concentration t hours after the nth dose was

administered; the doses are administered hours apart according to a multiple-dose

regimen:

.8

In which t miss = time elapsed since the scheduled dose was missed.

Subtracting Equation 9 from Equation 8 corrects for the missing dose as shown in

Equation 10

10

If steady state is reached (ie, either n = large or after many doses), the equation

simplifies to

..11

9

EXAMPLE 3: cephalosporin (k = 0.2 hr-1, V D = 10 L) was administered by IV

multiple dosing; 100 mg was injected every 6 hours for 6 doses. What was the

plasma drug concentration 4 hours after the 6th dose (i.e., 40 hours later) if (a) the

5th dose was omitted, (b) the 6th dose was omitted, (c) the 4th dose was omitted?

Solution

a.

Drug concentration correcting for the missing dose = 6.425 - 1.353 = 5.072

mg/L.

b.

Drug concentration correcting for the missing dose = 6.425 -4.493 = 1.932 mg/L.

c.

The drug concentration corrected for the missing dose = 6.425 - 0.408 = 6.017

mg/L.

When one of the drug doses is taken earlier or later than scheduled, the resulting

plasma drug concentration can still be calculated based on the principle of

superposition. The dose can be treated as missing, with the late or early dose added

back to take into account the actual time of dosing,

.12

10

In which t miss = time elapsed since the dose (late or early) is scheduled, and t

actual = time elapsed since the dose (late or early) is actually taken.

EXAMPLE 4:

Assume the same drug as above (ie, k = 0.2 hr-1, V D = 10 L) was given by

multiple IV bolus injections and that at a dose of 100 mg every 6 hours for 6 doses.

What is the plasma drug concentration 4 hours after the 6th dose, if the 5th dose

were given an hour late?

the drug is given by IV infusion for a short period of time followed by a drug

elimination period, then followed by another short IV infusion (figure 4).

In drug regimens involving short IV infusion, the drug may not reach steady state.

The rational for intermittent IV infusion is to prevent transient high drug

concentrations and accompanying side effects. Many drugs are better tolerated

when infused slowly over time compared to IV bolus dosing.

11

Administering One or More Doses by Constant Infusion: Superposition of

Several IV Infusion Doses

.13

short IV infusions for a specified time period

.14

Where R = rate of infusion = D/t inf, D = size of infusion dose, and t inf = infusion

period.

After the infusion is stopped, the drug concentration post-IV infusion is obtained

using the first-order equation for drug elimination:

15

Where C stop = concentration when infusion stops, t = time elapsed since infusion

stopped.

EXAMPLE

An antibiotic was infused with a 40-mg IV dose over 2 hours. Ten hours later, a

second dose of 40 mg was infused, again over 2 hours. (a) What is the plasma drug

concentration 2 hours after the start of the first infusion? (b) What is the plasma

drug concentration 5 hours after the second dose infusion was started? Assume k =

0.2 hr-1, V D = 10 L for the antibiotic.

a.

12

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

infusion, intermittent IV infusion, or multiple IV bolus injections? What

drugs would most likely be given by each route of administration? Why?

include the following. (1) A drug may be infused continuously for many hours

without disturbing the patient. (2) Constant infusion provides a stable blood drug

level for drugs that have a narrow therapeutic index. (3) Some drugs are better

tolerated when infused slowly. (4) Some drugs may be infused simultaneously with

electrolytes or other infusion media in an acute-care setting. Disadvantages of

administering a drug by constant IV infusion include the following. (1) Some drugs

are more suitable to be administered as a bolus IV injection. For example, some

reports show that an aminoglycoside given once daily resulted in fewer side effects

compared with dividing the dose into two or three doses daily. Due to drug

accumulation in the kidney and adverse toxicity, aminoglycosides are generally not

given by prolonged IV infusions. In contrast, a prolonged period of low drug level

for penicillins and tetracyclines may not be as efficacious and may result in a

longer cure time for an infection. The pharmacodynamics of the individual drug

must be studied to determine the best course of action. (2) Drugs such as

nitroglycerin are less likely to produce tolerance when administered intermittently

versus continuously.

13

2. Is the drug accumulation index (R) applicable to any drug given by multiple

doses or only to drugs that are eliminated slowly from the body?

concentration to the drug concentration after the first dose. The accumulation index

does not measure the absolute size of overdosing; it measures the amount of drug

cumulation that can occur due to frequent drug administration. Factors that affect R

are the elimination rate constant, k, and the dosing interval, . If the first dose is not

chosen appropriately, the steady-state level may still be incorrect. Therefore, the

first dose and the dosing interval must be determined correctly to avoid any

significant drug accumulation. The accumulation index is a good indication of

accumulation due to frequent drug dosing, applicable to any drug, regardless of

whether the drug is bound to tissues.

3. Give two examples of a drug that requires a loading dose because of its long

t 1/2.

sometime after an IV dose is given in a clinical situation?

Answer: After an IV bolus drug injection, the drug is well distributed within a few

minutes. In practice, however, an IV bolus dose may be administered slowly over

several minutes or the drug may have a slow distribution phase. Therefore,

clinicians often prefer to take a blood sample 15 minutes or 30 minutes after IV

bolus injection and refer to that drug concentration as the peak concentration. In

some cases, a blood sample is taken an hour later to avoid the fluctuating

concentration in the distributive phase. The error due to changing sampling time

can be large for a drug with a short elimination half-life.

and an apparent volume of distribution of 20% of body weight. It is

necessary to give gentamicin, 1 mg/kg every 8 hours by multiple IV

injections, to a 50-kg woman with normal renal function. Calculate (a) C

max, (b) C min, and (c) C av.

14

6. A drug has an elimination half-life of 2 hours and a volume of distribution of

40 L. The drug is given at a dose of 200 mg every 4 hours by multiple IV

bolus injections. Predict the plasma drug concentration at 1 hour after the

third dose.

The plasma drug concentration, C p, may be calculated at any time after n doses

by Equation 8.21 and proper substitution.

Alternatively, one may conclude that for a drug whose elimination t 1/2 is 2

hours, the predicted plasma drug concentration is approximately at steady state

after 3 doses or 12 hours. Therefore, the above calculation may be simplified to

the following:

15

7. The elimination half-life of an antibiotic is 3 hours and the apparent volume

of distribution is 20% of body weight. The therapeutic window for this drug

is from 2 to 10 g/mL. Adverse toxicity is often observed at drug

concentrations above 15 g/mL. The drug will be given by multiple IV

bolus injections.

a. Calculate the dose for an adult male patient (68 years old, 82 kg) with

normal renal function to be given every 8 hours.

b. Calculate the anticipated Cmax and C min values.

c. Calculate the Cav value.

d. Comment on the adequacy of your dosage regimen.

d. In the above dosage regimen, the Cmin of 1.59 mg/L is below the desired C

min of 2 mg/L. Alternatively, the dosage interval, , could be changed to 6 hours.

16

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