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Disappearance from the newborn of circulating prenatally administered phenobarbital


Plasma concentrations of phenobarbital were measured in 18 newborn infants for one to two weeks after birth. The drug had been administered prenatally to the mothers as part of treatment for maternal hypertension or toxaemia. The plasma half-life of the drug in the infants (77–404 h) was inversely correlated with the extent of prenatal exposure to it. In three infants a bi-phasic plasma curve was found as there was a sudden change from slow to fast disappearance on the 5th to 7th day of life.

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Jalling, B., Boréus, L.O., Kållberg, N. et al. Disappearance from the newborn of circulating prenatally administered phenobarbital. Eur J Clin Pharmacol 6, 234–238 (1973).

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Key words

  • Phenobarbital
  • neonate
  • maternal-fetal exchange
  • pharmacokinetics