Article Text

Download PDFPDF
The Effect of Age on Pharmacokinetics of the Local Anesthetic Drug Articaine
  1. Reinhard Oertel, Ph.D.*,
  2. Ulrike Ebert, M.D.*,
  3. Rainer Rahn, M.D. and
  4. Wilhelm Kirch, M.D.*
  1. *From the Institute of Clinical Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Technical University, Dresden;
  2. the Clinic of Dentistry. J.W. Goethe University, Frankfurt. Germany.
  1. Reprint requests: Reinhard Oertel, Ph.D., Institute of Clinical Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Technical University Dresden, Fiedlerstrasse 27, D-01 307 Dresden, Germany.


Background and Objectives. With increasing age, there are physiologic changes that could affect pharmacokinetics of drugs. More elderly patients are undergoing routine dental procedures for which local anesthesia could be required. The goal of the present study was to evaluate the effect of age on pharmacokinetics of the local anesthetic agent articaine.

Methods. The submucosal infiltration anesthesia from two different dosages of 4% articaine without epinephrine was compared in healthy elderly and young volunteers. High performance liquid chromatography has been used to determine concentrations of articaine in serum. Basic pharmacokinetic parameters were calculated according to standard procedures using a two-exponent equation.

Results. The clearance and volume of distribution (Vdss) of articaine after infiltration anesthesia were significantly lower in elderly volunteers compared with young volunteers. The area under the serum concentration-time curve and maximum drug concentration (Cmax) values did not differ significantly with age; however, both parameters tended to be higher in elderly volunteers. No changes in terminal half-life and time to reach maximum serum concentration (tmax) were observed. The Cmax and tmax values of the metabolite articainic acid were similar in young and elderly volunteers.

Conclusions. The results show that the metabolism of articaine is ageindependent in healthy male volunteers. The smaller Vdss in the elderly results in a trend to higher serum levels after a given dose of articaine. No change of dosage of articaine in elderly patients should be necessary.

  • articaine
  • pharmacokinetics
  • elderly
  • local anesthetics
  • dentistry.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.