The concordance of early antipyrine and thiopental distribution kinetics

Michael J. Avram*, Tom C. Krejcie, Thomas K. Henthorn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Studies of factors affecting the initial disposition of drugs with a rapid onset of effect following i.v. administration have used antipyrine as a surrogate for lipophilic drugs because it lacks cardiovascular effects. The present study tested the assumption that antipyrine is a useful surrogate for the flow-dependent tissue distribution of the lipophilic drug thiopental by comparing the recirculatory pharmacokinetic models of antipyrine and thiopental disposition after concomitant administration to five dogs anesthetized with 1.5% halothane. The pharmacokinetics of indocyanine green, a marker of the intravascular behavior of antipyrine and thiopental, and antipyrine in these dogs was nearly identical to that described previously in dogs anesthetized with 1.5% halothane but not given thiopental. The total volume of distribution of the highly lipophilic drug thiopental was more than 60% larger than that of antipyrine, 53 versus 33 liters, respectively. Nonetheless, the initial distribution kinetics of the two drugs, including the pulmonary tissue volume and the volume of the nondistributive pathway as well as the clearance to it, were nearly identical. As a result, the fraction of cardiac output involved in distribution of the two drugs to peripheral tissues was similarly identical, although the distribution of cardiac output between clearance to the rapidly equilibrating tissues and clearance to the slowly equilibrating tissues differed slightly. This study validates the assumption that antipyrine is a useful surrogate for lipophilic drugs in pharmacokinetic studies in which physiologic stability is desirable to meet the assumption of system stationarity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)594-600
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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