A pilot study of alcohol exposure and pharmacokinetics in women with or without children with fetal alcohol syndrome

Journal Article

Aims: To determine the alcohol exposure and pharmacokinetics of alcohol in a group of women who had given birth to children wit FAS, compared with women who had not given birth to FAS children. Methods: 10 women who had given birth to FAS children (FAS mothers) and 20 Controls were studied to determine how they metabolize alcohol in a single limited-access quasi-experimental session of voluntary consumption of alcohol. They had free choice in the consumption of any amount of their favourite beverage for ∼2.5 h, but their drinking was terminated if the breath alcohol concentrations (BrAC) exceeded 150 mg%. BrACs was measured during ethanol consumption and for several hours after, for estimation of alcohol exposure and pharmacokinetics. Results: FAS mothers consumed significantly larger amounts of alcohol, and achieved significantly higher peak BrAC levels than Controls. The rate of decline of alcohol from the circulation (β-60) showed a 2-fold variation across subjects but there was no significant difference between the two groups. Conclusions: This study did not show any difference in alcohol pharmacokinetics in free-choice drinking by non-pregnant women, who either have given or have never given birth to FAS children. However, mothers of FAS children tend to consume more alcohol per session. Future studies in larger samples will be needed to confirm these findings and to examine drinking patterns and other factors that may increase the risk of FAS in children of women who drink alcohol during pregnancy. © Medical Council on Alcohol 2004; all rights reserved.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Khaole, NCO; Ramchandani, VA; Viljoen, DL; Li, TK

Published Date

  • 2004

Published In

  • Alcohol and Alcoholism

Volume / Issue

  • 39 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 503 - 508

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/alcalc/agh089