Plasma concentration was measured after rectal and nasogastric administration of paracetamol 15 mg/kg to 28 febrile children aged between 9 days to 7 years who had undergone cardiac surgery. After equivalent doses, rectal administration in neonates and children on the first postoperative day was found to produce plasma concentrations below the therapeutic range with higher concentrations after nasogastric paracetamol on the second postoperative day. There was less variance in plasma paracetamol concentrations in neonates. Both plasma elimination half life and area under the plasma concentration time curve were significantly increased in neonates after suppository dosing compared with older children. There was no difference in antipyretic effect between the two routes of administration, but this was much lower than that previously reported in febrile children.
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