Clinical pharmacokinetics of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Clinical Pharmacokinetics
R K VerbeeckG R Loewen


The number of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) available for clinical use has dramatically increased during the last decade. As a general rule, NSAIDs are well absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract, with the exception of aspirin (and possibly diclofenac, tolfenamic acid and fenbufen) which undergoes presystemic hydrolysis to form salicylic acid. Concomitant administration of NSAIDs with food or antacids may in some cases lead to delayed or even reduced absorption. The NSAIDs are highly bound to plasma proteins (mainly albumin), which limits their body distribution to the extracellular spaces. Apparent volumes of distribution of NSAIDs are, therefore, very low and usually less than 0.2 L/kg. The elimination of these drugs depends largely on hepatic biotransformation; renal excretion of unchanged drugs is usually small (less than 5% of the dose). Total body clearance is low and for most NSAIDs is less than 200 ml/min. The effect of age and disease on the disposition of NSAIDs has not been extensively studied. Due to the central role of the liver in the overall elimination of the majority of these compounds, hepatic disease will most likely lead to a significant alteration in their pharmacokinetic behaviour. NSAID...Continue Reading


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