Intravenous Infusions

  • Gerald M. Woerlee
Part of the Developments in Critical Care Medicine and Anesthesiolgy book series (DCCA, volume 26)


Intravenous infusions are being used with increasing frequency in modern medicine. There are a variety of reasons for this.
  • Administration of drugs by intravenous infusion enables a constant plasma drug con- centration to be maintained. This is especially important with drugs whose therapeutic concentration range is narrow. The plasma concentrations of such drugs when administered as intermittent intravenous boluses are frequently in the toxic range, or too low to be therapeutic. An example of such a drug is theophylline. Theophylline has a minimum therapeutic plasma concentration of 10 mg/L and a minimum toxic plasma concentration of 20 mg/L [5].

  • The dose per unit time of a drug administered by continuous intravenous infusion is lower than if the same drug had been administered intermittently. An example of this is provided by the total dose of midazolam required to maintain hypnosis for a given time. The total dose required to maintain hypnosis is lower when midazolam is administered by constant intravenous infusion, than when administered as intermittent intravenous bolus doses [1].

  • Accurate electronically controlled intravenous infusion pumps are becoming increasingly more available in most modern hospitals. These make the administration of drugs by intravenous infusion much easier.


Intravenous Infusion Infusion Rate Plasma Drug Concentration Effect Compartment Midazolam Infusion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Lauven PM, et al: Ein pharmakokinetisch begründetes Infusionsmodell für Midazolam. Eine mikroprozessorgesteuerte Applikationsform zur Erreichung konstanter Plasmaspiegel. Der Anaesthesist, 1982: 31: 15–20.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Wagner, J.G., “Fundamentals of Clinical Pharmacokinetics”, published Drug Intelligence Publications, INC., Hamilton, Illinois, U.S.A., 1979, ISBN 0-914678-20-4.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Rigg JRA, Wong TY: A method for achieving rapidly steady-state blood concentrations of i.v. drugs. British Journal of Anaesthesia, 1981: 53: 1247–1257.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Mitenko PA, Ogilvie RI: Rapidly achieved plasma concentration plateaus, with observations on theophylline kinetics. Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 1972: 13: 329–335.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Hendeles L, Weinberger M: Theophylline. A “state of the art” review. Pharmacotherapy, 1983: 3: 2–44.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Wagner JG: A safe method for rapidly achieving plasma concentration plateaus. Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 1974: 16: 691–700.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerald M. Woerlee
    • 1
  1. 1.Rijnoord HospitalAlphen aan den RijnThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations