Quinidine serum levels and pharmacokinetic data were assessed during steady state therapy with oral quinidine sulfate in 19 hospitalized patients who were being treated for ventricular arrhythmias. A new high performance liquid chromatography assay was employed. Four patients were studied both after the first dose of quinidine and at steady state, and the initial dose pharmacokinetic values were found not to be predictive of steady state. The mean half-life of quinidine was 4.5 hours, but there was wide individual variation. The elimination rate constant for quinidine was significantly lower in patients with echocardiographic evidence of left ventricular dilatation than in patients with normal echocardiographic left ventricular size. The average urinary excretion of quinidine was only 11.3%. The pharmacokinetic data in seven chronic alcoholic patients without clinical or laboratory evidence of hepatic insufficiency did not differ from the data obtained in nonalcoholic patients. However, with severely impaired liver function, there may be marked prolongation of quinidine half-life predisposing to quinidine toxicity. The possible clinical implications of these findings are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine