• The influence of chronic respiratory failure (CRF) on the pharmacokinetics of an acidic drug has been studied in 11 patients and in eight normal volunteers who received 10 mg/kg of oral sulfamethazine. Blood and urine samples were collected for 24 and 48 hours, respectively. No differences were observed in the rate of sulfamethazine absorption, but bioavailability was decreased when compared with control subjects. Sulfamethazine volume of distribution (Vd) was larger in patients than in control subjects. These differences in Vd may be secondary to an increase in sulfamethazine unbound fraction. No differences were observed in sulfamethazine elimination. It is concluded that in patients with CRF sulfamethazine bioavailability decreases, and Vd increases secondary to a decrease in binding. Despite the fact that plasma concentrations of the test drug will be decreased, the administration of higher doses may not be advisable.
(Arch Intern Med 1983;143:233-236)