The disposition of primidone in elderly patients

C. Martines, G. Gatti, E. Sasso, S. Calzetti, E. Perucca

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1. The pharmacokinetics and metabolism of primidone at steady-state were studied in 10 elderly patients aged 70-81 years and eight control subjects aged 18-26 years. 2. Primidone half-lives and clearance values (means ± s.d.) were similar in the elderly and in the young (12.1 ± 4.6 vs 14.7 ± 3.5 h and 34.8 ± 9.0 vs 33.2 ± 7.2 ml h-1 kg-1 respectively. 3. The serum concentrations of the metabolites phenylethylmalonamide (PEMA) and phenobarbitone relative to those of parent drug were higher in the elderly than in the young, the difference being significant (P <0.01) in the case of PEMA. 4. The renal clearances of primidone, phenobarbitone and PEMA were moderately decreased in the elderly but this reduction was statistically significant only for PEMA. Elderly patients excreted a reduced proportion of unchanged primidone and an increased proportion of PEMA in urine. 5. Ageing is associated with a greater accumulation of PEMA, which is unlikely to have a major clinical significance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)607-611
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1990


  • elderly
  • kinetics
  • metabolism
  • primidone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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