Pharmacokinetic characteristics of intravenous ceftriaxone in normal adults

Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1982 Nov;22(5):816-23. doi: 10.1128/AAC.22.5.816.


The multiple-dose pharmacokinetics and tolerance of intravenous ceftriaxone were investigated in 44 adults with normal renal function. Doses of 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 g every 12 h and 2 g every 24 h were administered intravenously at a constant rate over 30 min. Plasma and urine samples were collected after the first (day 1) and last (day 4) dose and assayed for ceftriaxone by high-pressure liquid chromatography. Considering all four doses, mean peak plasma concentrations ranged from 79 to 255 micrograms/ml on day 1 and from 101 to 280 micrograms/ml on day 4. Trough concentrations at 12 h on day 1 were 15 to 45 micrograms/ml and 20 to 59 micrograms/ml on day 4. After a dose regimen of 2 g every 24 h, trough levels were still in the clinically therapeutic range (13 to 15 microgram/ml). The mean beta-phase t1/2 was markedly long (6.3 to 6.9 h) and was independent of dose. The fraction of dose excreted unchanged in the urine (0.33 to 0.44) indicated a substantial nonrenal mechanism of elimination. The plasma clearance ranged between 1,002 and 1,449 ml/h, and renal clearance ranged from 353 to 529 ml/h. The apparent volume of distribution varied from 9.2 to 13.5 liters. The dose-related increases in calculated Vd and Clp could be attributed to concentration-dependent plasma protein binding because of a larger free fraction of drug at higher concentrations. The drug was well tolerated, and no significant clinical or laboratory abnormalities were noted.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / metabolism*
  • Cefotaxime / administration & dosage
  • Cefotaxime / adverse effects
  • Cefotaxime / analogs & derivatives*
  • Cefotaxime / metabolism
  • Ceftriaxone
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Parenteral
  • Kinetics
  • Middle Aged


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Ceftriaxone
  • Cefotaxime