European journal of clinical pharmacology vol:61 issue:11 pages:837-42
OBJECTIVE: Assess in vivo O-demethylation activity in the first months of life. METHODS: Time-concentration profiles of tramadol (M) and O-demethyl tramadol (M1) in plasma and urine were simultaneously collected in the first 24 h of continuous intravenous tramadol administration in neonates and young infants. M and M1 were determined by high performance liquid chromatography. Correlations between perinatal characteristics [postnatal age (PNA), postmenstrual age (PMA)] and the contribution of metabolites (M, M1) to overall tramadol elimination and to the plasma and urine log M/M1 were calculated. RESULTS: Plasma samples were available in 20/29 and complete 24-h urine collections were available in 25/29 neonates (25-53 weeks PMA). Mean plasma log M/M1 value (>4 h, n=86) was 0.8 (SD 0.4). A significant correlation between plasma log M/M1 and PMA (r=-0.73, P<0.0001) and PNA (r=-0.58, P<0.005) was observed. In a multiple regression model, only PMA remained an independent variable. Mean urine log M/M1 was 0.94 (SD 0.7). Significant correlations of the urine log M/M1 ratio with PMA (r=-0.73, P<0.0001) and PNA (r=-0.56, P=0.0035) were observed. In a multiple regression model with the urine log M/M1 ratio as dependent variable, only PMA remained an independent variable. The maturational half-life of the log M/M1 ratio in early neonatal life in the age range evaluated is about 12-16 weeks without plateau. CONCLUSIONS: O-demethylation activity was already observed in early neonatal life. A significant correlation with PMA was documented, but PMA can only partially explain the observed variability in O-demethylation activity. Polymorphism therefore likely already contributes to the interindividual variability observed in neonates.