Article Text

PARACETAMOL SERUM CONCENTRATION IN PRETERM INFANTS TREATED WITH PARACETAMOL INTRAVENOUSLY: A CASE SERIES OF NINE
  1. C van Ganzewinkel1,
  2. P Andriessen1,
  3. T Mohns1,
  4. R A van Lingen2
  1. 1Department of Neonatology, Máxima Medical Centre, Veldhoven, The Nehterlands
  2. 2Department of Neonatology, Isala Klinieken, Zwolle, The Netherlands

Abstract

Objective Based on recently published data, a local initiative in our neonatal intensive care unit has led to a pain protocol, in which preterm infants experiencing pain are treated with paracetamol intravenously. We present a case series of nine preterm infants with a gestational age below 32 weeks, in whom paracetamol serum concentrations were determined after prolonged administration of paracetamol 15 mg/kg at 6-h intervals intravenously.

Methods Nine infants (mean gestational age 28.6 weeks, range 25.9–31.6) received 15 mg/kg paracetamol at 6-h intervals.

Results Adequate analgesia with paracetamol monotherapy as measured by a PIPP score below 12 was attained in seven infants. The serum concentration was determined after 2–3 days of therapy. The median interval between drug administration and serum level was 4 h (range 1–20). The median level of paracetamol was 29 mg/l (range 8–61). During or after paracetamol therapy the median serum levels of alanine aminotransferase and gamma glutamyl transferase were 7 U/l (range 5–15) and 52 U/l (range 26–140), respectively.

Conclusions To our knowledge we are the first to report on paracetamol intravenously in preterm infants. The highest paracetamol concentration (64 mg/l) was far below 150 mg/l, which is reported as the toxic value in children. During paracetamol therapy we found no indications of liver failure. This case series of preterm infants with a gestational age below 32 weeks indicates that paracetamol intravenously with a maintenance dose of 15 mg/kg per day is well tolerated while achieving an adequate analgesic effect.

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