Pharmacokinetics in lactating women: prediction of alprazolam transfer into milk

Br J Clin Pharmacol. 1995 Sep;40(3):231-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.1995.tb05778.x.


1. Alprazolam, a triazolobenzodiazepine, is extensively prescribed for the treatment of anxiety disorders, which predominantly affect women of child-bearing age. The purpose of the present study was to assess the pharmacokinetics of alprazolam and its two hydroxylated metabolites: 4-hydroxy-alprazolam and alpha-hydroxy-alprazolam in lactating human volunteers and to test the predictability of four recently reported models for drug transfer into milk based on physicochemical properties. 2. Multiple milk and serum samples in eight lactating subjects were collected up to 36 h following single oral doses of 0.5 mg alprazolam; suckling of the infant was discontinued after drug administration. 4-Hydroxy-alprazolam was the predominant metabolite in serum samples while alpha-hydroxy-alprazolam was not detected. 3. The mean oral clearance of alprazolam was 1.15 +/- 0.32 ml min-1 kg-1. The time course of alprazolam in milk roughly paralleled the perspective plasma time profile (mean serum residence time = 16.42 +/- 4.69 h; mean milk residence time = 18.93 +/- 7.03 h). The mean terminal half-life in serum was 12.52 +/- 3.53 h. 4. Observed milk/serum concentration ratios were determined in vivo as AUCmilk/AUCserum (mean M/S(obs) = 0.36 +/- 0.11).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alprazolam / pharmacokinetics*
  • Animals
  • Breast Feeding*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lactation / metabolism*
  • Mathematics
  • Milk, Human / metabolism*
  • Probability
  • Time Factors


  • Alprazolam