Pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of spiramycin and their clinical significance

Clin Pharmacokinet. 1998 Apr;34(4):303-10. doi: 10.2165/00003088-199834040-00003.


The absolute bioavailability of oral spiramycin is generally within the range of 30 to 40%. After a 1 g oral dose, the maximum serum drug concentration was found to be within the range 0.4 to 1.4 mg/L. The tissue distribution of spiramycin is extensive. The volume of distribution is in excess of 300 L, and concentrations achieved in bone, muscle, respiratory tract and saliva exceed those found in serum. The intracellular penetration of spiramycin is also rapid and extensive, with the concentrations in alveolar macrophages 10 to 20 times greater than simultaneous serum concentrations. Spiramycin is less metabolised than some of the other macrolides. The renal excretion of spiramycin is low, with 4 to 20% of the dose being excreted by this route. High concentrations of spiramycin are achieved in bile, which is an important route of elimination. The serum elimination half-life of spiramycin is between 6.2 and 7.7 hours. Of significance to clinicians may be the finding that spiramycin is highly concentrated in the respiratory tract and other tissues and macrophages. The post-antibiotic effect of spiramycin is significant and this effect is more prolonged than that of erythromycin against Staphylococcus aureus. Spiramycin has also been shown to greatly reduce the capacity of strains of Gram-positive cocci to adhere to human buccal cells.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / metabolism
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacokinetics*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bacterial Adhesion / drug effects
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Humans
  • Spiramycin / administration & dosage
  • Spiramycin / metabolism
  • Spiramycin / pharmacokinetics*
  • Spiramycin / pharmacology*
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Spiramycin