Sufentanil disposition: Is it affected by erythromycin administration?

R. R. Bartkowski, M. E. Goldberg, S. Huffnagle, R. H. Epstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Background: Because oral erythromycin administration has been associated with reduced elimination of alfentanil, suspicion has been raised about related opioids with similar metabolic pathways. A controlled crossover study of sufentanil pharmacokinetics was undertaken to resolve this issue. Methods: Six subjects had measurements of plasma concentrations for 9 h after intravenous administration of sufentanil (3 μg/kg). Each subject was studied following no erythromycin (control) and after 1- and 7-day courses of erythromycin base. Results: Plasma concentrations during the 9 h of measurement were similar before and after erythromycin. Terminal half-life and clearance and distribution volume did not change significantly among treatment groups. Values measured after 7 days of erythromycin were similar to controls. Conclusions: Prior administration of erythromycin does not alter pharmacokinetics of sufentanil in the 9 h following sufentanil administration. Thus, there are no apparent clinical consequences of prior or concomitant erythromycin administration in patients receiving sufentanil for procedures of 9 h or less.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)260-265
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Anesthesia, intravenous: sufentanil
  • Interactions, drug: erythromycin- sufentanil
  • Pharmacokinetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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