Medical Oncology and Tumor Pharmacotherapy

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 151–154 | Cite as

Oral melphalan pharmacokinetics — relation to dose in patients with multiple myeloma

  • Hans Ehrsson
  • Staffan Eksborg
  • Anders Österborg
  • Håkan Mellstedt
  • Astrid Lindfors
Original Articles


The pharmacokinetics of melphalan have been studied after oral doses of 5,10 and 20 mg, and 10 mg i.v. Seven patients with multiple myeloma received the drug on 4 consecutive days and the concentration of melphalan was determined by liquid chromatography. Melphalan was rapidly absorbed after p.o. administration. Absorption lag-time was less than 1 h. The median time for attaining the peak concentration was 1.12 h (97% confidence interval: 0.68–1.55), 1.21 h (0.85–1.43) and 1.08 h (0.84–1.29) after doses of 5,10 and 20 mg. The bioavailability showed large interindividual variations, and was not significantly affected by the dose given. There was a significant decrease in bioavailability during the treatment course (P < 0.05). Absorption of melphalan obeys first-order kinetics in the dose interval studied. The results indicate that it might be of benefit to administrate oral melphalan for fewer days than the usually used 4 day regimen, in an attempt to achieve a higher bioavailability.

Key words

Melphalan Pharmacokinetics Oral administration Chemotherapy Multiple myeloma 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans Ehrsson
    • 1
  • Staffan Eksborg
    • 1
  • Anders Österborg
    • 2
  • Håkan Mellstedt
    • 2
  • Astrid Lindfors
    • 1
  1. 1.Karolinska PharmacyStockholm
  2. 2.RadiumhemmetKarolinska HospitalStockholmSweden

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