Influence of age, gender, and obesity on salicylate kinetics following single doses of aspirin

David J. Greenblatt, Darrell R. Abernethy, Harold G. Boxenbaum, Rita Matlis, Hermann R. Ochs, Jerold S. Harmatz, Richard I. Shader

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Salicylate kinetics following single, 650‐mg intravenous and oral doses of aspirin were evaluated in humans in 2 studies. Complete conversion of aspirin to salicylate was assumed. The first study involved 25 young (25–40 years) and 21 elderly (66–89 years) healthy male and female volunteers. Mean salicylate clearance was lower in elderly females compared with that in young females; however, the difference between young men and elderly men was not significant. Salicylate free fraction in plasma increased significantly with age in men and women. After correction for free fraction, unbound mean clearance was reduced in elderly men compared with young men, and in elderly women compared with young women. Peak plasma salicylate concentrations after taking oral aspirin were not significantly influenced by age, and systemic availability of salicylate in all groups was complete. The second study compared 20 obese subjects (mean weight 113 kg) with 20 normal weight controls (mean weight 67 kg) matched for age, sex, height, and smoking habits. Small differences between obese and control groups were observed in total salicylate volume of distribution (Vd), unbound Vd, and mean clearance of total or unbound salicylate. Following normalization for total weight, however, values of total Vd and mean clearance were significantly smaller in obese subjects than in normal weight subjects. Rate and completeness of salicylate absorption were not influenced by obesity when aspirin was ingested, although peak levels were lower in obese subjects. If applied to multiple doses, the reduced unbound clearance of salicylate in the elderly would imply increased accumulation unless doses are appropriately adjusted downward. During long‐term therapy, salicylate dosage for obese individuals should not be adjusted upward in proportion to total weight.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)971-980
Number of pages10
JournalArthritis & Rheumatism
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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