Pharmacokinetic comparison of intravenous and oral chloramphenicol in patients with Haemophilus influenzae meningitis

R. Yogev, W. M. Kolling, T. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


The pharmacokinetics of chloramphenicol following intravenous and oral administration were studied in 14 infants with Haemophilus influenzae meningitis. Following five days of treatment with intravenous chloramphenicol (100 mg/kg/day every six hours), oral chloramphenicol was substituted at the same dose. Multiple serum levels of chloramphenicol were determined after an intravenous dose on day 4 and after an oral dose on day 10. CSF levels were measured six hours after intravenous or oral chloramphenicol dose on those days (CSF through). Following intravenous administration, the mean peak serum level of 15.0 μg/ml was reached at 45 minutes. In comparison, after oral chloramphenicol in the same dosage, the mean peak serum level of 18.5 μg/ml was achieved at two to three hours. The mean serum half-life of the drug (6.5 hours) was significantly longer after oral administration than after intravenous chloramphenicol (4.0 hours) (P < .001). The increased serum half-life following orally administered chloramphenicol was occasionally associated with drug accumulation. In addition, mean trough CSF levels were somewhat higher when the patient received oral medication (6.6 μg/ml) compared to intravenous administration (4.2 μg/ml) (P < .001). For any treatment regimen for H influenzae meningitis that includes a period of oral chloramphenicol therapy the patient should be hospitalized to ensure compliance. Because of the wide range of individual variation in serum half-life that may result in accumulation, periodic monitoring of serum chloramphenicol levels is also recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)656-660
Number of pages5
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Pharmacokinetic comparison of intravenous and oral chloramphenicol in patients with Haemophilus influenzae meningitis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this