Population pharmacokinetics of unbound and total drug concentrations following intravenously administered carbamazepine in elderly and younger adult patients with epilepsy

J Clin Pharmacol. 2013 Mar;53(3):276-84. doi: 10.1002/jcph.8. Epub 2013 Feb 13.


The objective of the study was to investigate the pharmacokinetics (PK) of unbound and total plasma carbamazepine (CBZ) concentrations following simultaneous administration of intravenous and oral formulations. We tested the hypothesis that age-related alterations in physiology and patient characteristics influence CBZ disposition and protein binding. Patients (n = 113) on maintenance therapy received a 100 mg dose of a novel, intravenous, stable-labeled (SL) CBZ formulation as partial replacement of their morning CBZ dose. A two-compartment model described unbound and total SL-CBZ data. The stable-labeled intravenous dosing methodology enabled the estimation of the CBZ clearance (CL) and volumes of distribution. The CL of CBZ was dependent on race through the model equation unbound CL (L/hour) = 11.2 × (1.30)(Race); where Race = 1 for Caucasian, 0 for African American. Total body weight explained 57% and 70% of the interindividual variability in the central and peripheral volumes of distribution, respectively. Age, sex, smoking, plasma albumin, and alpha 1-acid glycoprotein concentrations had no effect on CL, binding or volumes of distribution. The model was evaluated via bootstrap and predictive check. Results may support race specific dosing for CBZ where an average African-American individual would receive 70% of the standard dose prescribed for the Caucasian person.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anticonvulsants / administration & dosage
  • Anticonvulsants / blood
  • Anticonvulsants / pharmacokinetics*
  • Carbamazepine / administration & dosage
  • Carbamazepine / blood
  • Carbamazepine / pharmacokinetics*
  • Epilepsy / blood*
  • Epilepsy / drug therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Independent Living
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Biological
  • Racial Groups
  • Young Adult


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Carbamazepine