Prediction of clearance, volume of distribution and half-life by allometric scaling and by use of plasma concentrations predicted from pharmacokinetic constants: a comparative study

J Pharm Pharmacol. 1999 Aug;51(8):905-10. doi: 10.1211/0022357991773320.


Pharmacokinetic parameters (clearance, CL, volume of distribution in the central compartment, VdC, and elimination half-life, t1/2beta) predicted by an empirical allometric approach have been compared with parameters predicted from plasma concentrations calculated by use of the pharmacokinetic constants A, B, alpha and beta, where A and B are the intercepts on the Y axis of the plot of plasma concentration against time and alpha and beta are the rate constants, both pairs of constants being for the distribution and elimination phases, respectively. The pharmacokinetic parameters of cefpiramide, actisomide, troglitazone, procaterol, moxalactam and ciprofloxacin were scaled from animal data obtained from the literature. Three methods were used to generate plots for the prediction of clearance in man: dependence of clearance on body weight (simple allometric equation); dependence of the product of clearance and maximum life-span potential (MLP) on body weight; and dependence of the product of clearance and brain weight on body weight. Plasma concentrations of the drugs were predicted in man by use of A, B, alpha and beta obtained from animal data. The predicted plasma concentrations were then used to calculate CL, VdC and t1/2beta. The pharmacokinetic parameters predicted by use of both approaches were compared with measured values. The results indicate that simple allometry did not predict clearance satisfactorily for actisomide, troglitazone, procaterol and ciprofloxacin. Use of MLP or the product of clearance and brain weight improved the prediction of clearance for these four drugs. Except for troglitazone, VdC and t1/2beta predicted for man by use of the allometric approach were comparable with measured values for the drugs studied. CL, VdC and t1/2beta predicted by use of pharmacokinetic constants were comparable with values predicted by simple allometry. Thus, if simple allometry failed to predict clearance of a drug, so did the pharmacokinetic constant approach (except for actisomide). The results of this study indicate that caution should be employed in interpreting plasma concentrations predicted for a drug in man by use of pharmacokinetic constants obtained in animals.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Chemical Analysis*
  • Data Collection
  • Humans
  • Life Expectancy*
  • Models, Biological*
  • Pharmacokinetics*