International journal of clinical pharmacology and therapeutics vol:44 issue:7 pages:303-8
OBJECTIVE: To document maturational changes of the in vivo activity of CYP3A4 in the first months of life. METHODS: The contribution of tramadol (M), O-demethyl tramadol (M1, CYP2D6-mediated) and N-demethyl tramadol (M2, CYP3A4-mediated) to the overall elimination of tramadol and the log M/M2 was assessed in 24-hour urine collections during continuous intravenous tramadol administration. Correlations with perinatal characteristics (postnatal age (PNA) and postmenstrual age (PMA)) were studied. RESULTS: Of the total amount of tramadol administered in a 24-hour interval to 25 neonates and young infants (PMA 25 - 53 weeks), 34.5% (SD 6.1) were retrieved in the urine as parent compound or metabolite in a 24-hour interval. This retrieved material consisted primarily of tramadol 79% (SD 18), M1 10% (SD 17) and M2 3% (SD 3.4). The contribution of M (r2 = -0.53), M1 (r2 = 0.46) and M2 (r2 = 0.16) to overall M elimination correlated with increasing PMA. The mean log M/M2 was 1.44 (SD 0.46) and there was an inverse correlation between the log M/M2 ratio and PMA (r2 = -0.43, 95% CI for r = -0.84 to -0.34, p = 0.0006) and PNA (r2 = -0.25, 95% CI for r = -0.78 to -0.16, p = 0.008). The maturational half-life of the log M/M2 ratio was 16 - 20 weeks. In a multiple regression model, PMA was the only significant variable accounting for the interindividual variability in log M/M2. CONCLUSIONS: PMA was found to be the most important maturational change determing the in vivo activity of CYP3A4. The activity of CYP3A4 is relatively delayed in the first months of life compared to the developmental changes in CYP2D6 activity described earlier, however, the overall weak correlations reflect that PMA explains only in part the interindividual variability observed.