Gastric and biliary excretion of meperidine in man

R. Dunkerley, R. Johnson, S. Schenker, G. R. Wilkinson

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16 Scopus citations


The role and importance of enterogastric secretion in the disposition and elimination of the weak base, meperidine (pKa 8.63), was studied after intravenous administration (50 mg) of the drug to 6 normal volunteers. Continuous collection of the gastric fluid over a 4-hr period demonstrated the establishment of high gastric fluid/plasma concentration ratios for meperidine (mean about 50, range, 10 to 200). However, the total amount of drug recovered, even after correction for incomplete collection, was only a small percentage of the administered dose. Under- basal conditions a mean ± SE of 1.9 ± 0.3 mg, equivalent to 3.7% of the administered dose, was found in the total gastric aspirate. Stimulation of gastric secretion by subcutaneous injection of betazole (1.5 mg/kg) increased this recovery to 3.6 ± 0.3 mg (7.2%) primarily due to the increase in gastric volume output. Aspiration of the gastric fluid in either the basal or stimulated situation had no observable effect upon the plasma concentration/time profile of meperidine whether assessed by the terminal half-life, 1 2β, or the plasma clearance; control values were 3.8 ± 0.5 hr and 1,190 ± 130 ml/min, respectively. In 2 subjects "bile fluid" was also collected for 2.5 hr and found to contain less than 0.2% of the administered dose. Enterosystemic recycling is therefore of minor importance in the disposition and elimination of meperidine in man.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)546-551
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1976
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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