The effects of phenobarbital administration on rates of ethanol disappearance from the blood and on the hepatic activities of the ethanol-oxidizing enzymes were determined in 4 male chronic alcoholic patients without significant clinical evidence of liver disease. Phenobarbital administration resulted in significant increases, both in the rates of ethanol disappearance from the blood and in the concentration of protein per gram of liver wet weight; however, no changes were observed in the activities of either alcohol dehydrogenase or the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate-dependent ethanol-oxidizing system determined in liver homogenates. On the other hand, the urinary excretion of D-glucaric acid, an index of hepatic enzyme induction, was increased. While this study demonstrates an enhancement of ethanol clearance from the blood after phenobarbital administration, the mechanism for this enhancement remains uncertain.
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