The administration of acetaminophen via the oral and rectal routes may be contraindicated in specific clinical settings. Intravenous administration provides an alternative route for fever reduction and analgesia. This phase 1 study of intravenous acetaminophen (Ofirmev, Cadence Pharmaceuticals, Inc., San Diego, CA) in inpatient pediatric patients with pain or fever requiring intravenous therapy was designed to assess the safety and pharmacokinetics of repeated doses over 48 hours.
Neonates (full-term to 28 days) received either 12.5 mg/kg every 6 hours or 15 mg/kg every 8 hours. Infants (29 days to <2 years), children (2 to <12 years) and adolescents (12 years) received either 12.5 mg/kg every 4 hours or 15 mg/kg every 6 hours. Both noncompartmental and population nonlinear mixed-effects modeling approaches were used. Urinary metabolite data were analyzed, and safety and tolerability were assessed.
Pharmacokinetic parameters of acetaminophen were estimated using a two-compartment disposition model with weight allometrically expressed on clearances and central and peripheral volumes of distribution (Vds). Postnatal age, with a maturation function, was a significant covariate on clearance. Total systemic normalized clearance was 18.4 L/hr per 70 kg, with a plateau reached at approximately 2 years. Total central and peripheral Vds of acetaminophen were 16 and 59.5 L/70 kg, respectively. The drug was well tolerated based on the incidence of adverse events. The primary and minor pathways of elimination were acetaminophen glucuronidation, sulfation, and glutathione conjugate metabolites across all age groups.
Intravenous acetaminophen in infants, children, and adolescents was well tolerated and achieved plasma concentrations similar to those achieved with labeled 15 mg/kg body weight doses by oral or rectal administration.