Indan Journal of Medical Research Indan Journal of Medical Research Indan Journal of Medical Research
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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 135  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 211-216

Effect of intermittent hypobaric hypoxia on efficacy & clearance of drugs

Neurochemistry & Hematology, Defence Institute of Physiology & Allied Sciences (DRDO), Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Krishna Kishore
Neurochemistry & Hematology, Defence Institute of Physiology & Allied Sciences, Lucknow Road, Timarpur, Delhi 110 054
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 22446863

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Background & objectives: People travelling to high altitude for occupational, recreational or religious purposes are mostly healthy and fit but sometimes they use drugs for common ailments like influenza, acute mountain sickness or chronic disease like diabetes. Limitation of oxygen at high altitude may compromise metabolism of drugs. Hence, we undertook this study to assess the effect of hypobaric hypoxia on some commonly used drugs in rats and rabbits. Methods: Effect of intermittent hypobaric hypoxia on phenotypic expression of anesthetic drugs pentabarbitone, thiopentone and zoxazolamine (sleeping time) was assessed in rats exposed to 282.4 mm Hg equivalent to 25000 feet in a decompression chamber. Plasma clearance of some commonly used drugs was investigated in rabbits exposed to 429 mm Hg equivalent to 15000 feet. Pharmacokinetic parameters were computed by plotting drug concentration versus time curve on semi log scale. Results: A significant delay in regaining rightening reflex was observed in rats exposed to intermittent hypobaric hypoxia in response to zoxazolamine, pentobarbitone and thiopentone sodium. Pharmacokinetics of acetyl salicylic acid, gentamicin, phenobarbitone and acetazolamide showed increase in plasma half life (t 1/2 ), decrease in elimination rate constant (k el ) and hence prolonged residence of these drugs in hypoxic animals. Interpretation & conclusions: This experimental study showed that hypoxia altered therapeutic effectiveness and clearance of several drugs, in rats and rabbits exposed to intermittent hypobaric hypoxia. s0 uch studies need to be done in human volunteers to see the effect of hypoxia on pharmacokinetics of some common drugs.

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