Blood levels after sublingual nitroglycerin.
Pharmacokinetic analysis of nitroglycerin (GTN) has been hampered by the lack of a sensitive and specific method for measuring GTN in blood. Therefore, we examined the appearance of GTN in blood after administering 0.6 mg sublingually in 10 studies of normal volunteers. We used a gas-liquid chromatographic method with electron-capture detection and isosorbide dinitrate as the internal standard. GTN appeared in blood at 0.5 minutes, reached a peak of 2.3 +/- 0.36 ng/ml at 2 minutes, fell to 50% of peak value at 7.5 minutes and was barely detectable at 20 minutes. These blood levels paralleled the changes in heart rate and systolic blood pressure. These data show rapid appearance and disappearance of GTN from blood after sublingual administration, a large volume of distribution, and a rapid rate of total body clearance that precludes the liver from being the sole elimination site. This method for analysis of GTN and isosorbide dinitrate should be helpful in defining the role of chronic nitrate therapy.
Armstrong, PW; Armstrong, JA; Marks, GS
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