Morphine, morphine-6-glucuronide and morphine-3-glucuronide pharmacokinetics in newborn infants receiving diamorphine infusions

Br J Clin Pharmacol. 1996 Jun;41(6):531-7. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2125.1996.03539.x.

Abstract

1. The pharmacokinetics of morphine, morphine-6-glucuronide (M6G) and morphine-3-glucuronide (M3G) were studied in 19 ventilated newborn infants (24-41 weeks gestation) who were given a loading dose of 50 micrograms kg-1 or 200 micrograms kg-1 of diamorphine followed by an intravenous infusion of 15 micrograms kg-1 h-1 of diamorphine. Plasma concentrations of morphine, M3G and M6G were measured during the accrual to steady-state and at steady state of the diamorphine infusion. 2. Following both the 50 micrograms kg-1 or 200 micrograms kg-1 loading doses the mean steady-state plasma concentration (+/- s.d.) of morphine, M3G and M6G were 86 +/- 52 ng ml-1, 703 +/- 400 ng ml-1 and 48 +/- 28 ng ml-1 respectively and morphine clearance was found to be 4.6 +/- 3.2 ml min-1 kg-1. 3. M3G formation clearance was estimated to be 2.5 +/- 1.8 ml min-1 kg-1, and the formation clearance of M6G was estimated to be 0.46 +/- 0.32 ml min-1 kg-1. 4. M3G metabolite clearance was 0.46 +/- 0.60 ml min-1 kg-1, the elimination half-life was 11.1 +/- 11.3 h and the volume of distribution was 0.55 +/- 1.13 l kg-1. M6G metabolite clearance was 0.71 +/- 0.36 ml min-1 kg-1, the elimination half-life was 18.2 +/- 13.6 h and the volume of distribution was 1.03 +/- 0.88 l kg-1. 5. No significant effect of the loading dose (50 micrograms kg-1 or 200 micrograms kg-1) on the plasma morphine or metabolite concentrations or their derived pharmacokinetic parameters was found. 6. We were unable to identify correlations between gestational age of the infants and any of the determined pharmacokinetic parameters. 7. M3G: morphine and M6G: morphine steady-state plasma concentration ratios were 11.0 +/- 10.8 and 0.8 +/- 0.8, respectively. 8. The metabolism of morphine in neonates, in terms of the respective contributions of each glucuronide pathway, was similar to that in adults.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics, Opioid / administration & dosage
  • Analgesics, Opioid / pharmacology*
  • Half-Life
  • Heroin / administration & dosage
  • Heroin / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn / blood*
  • Infant, Premature / blood*
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Morphine / blood
  • Morphine / pharmacokinetics*
  • Morphine Derivatives / blood
  • Morphine Derivatives / pharmacokinetics*

Substances

  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Morphine Derivatives
  • morphine-6-glucuronide
  • Heroin
  • Morphine
  • morphine-3-glucuronide