Acetaminophen kinetics in the elderly

Marcia Divoll, Darrell R. Abernethy, Barbara Ameer, David J. Greenblatt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


Thirty-two healthy men and women, 23 to 78 yr old, received single 650-mg intravenous doses of acetaminophen and the drug's kinetics were determined from multiple plasma samples drawn over the next 8 to 12 hr. Acetaminophen elimination half-life averaged 2.7 hr (range, 1.9 to 4.3 hr) and was not related to age or sex. Volume of distribution (corrected for weight) was larger in men than in women (0.99 and 0.86 llkg) and declined with age in both sexes. This probably reflects increased fat per kilogram body weight in women and in the elderly, together with incomplete distribution of this nonlipophilic drug into body fat. Acetaminophen clearance tended to decline with age in both sexes, but differences were of borderline significance. On the basis of kinetic data alone, adjustment of acetaminophen dosage for the elderly is generally not necessary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-156
Number of pages6
JournalClinical pharmacology and therapeutics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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