Pharmacokinetics and Saturable Absorption of Gabapentin in Nursing Home Elderly Patients

Ghada F. Ahmed, Sai Praneeth R. Bathena, Richard C. Brundage, Ilo E. Leppik, Jeannine M. Conway, Janice B. Schwartz, Angela K. Birnbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Pharmacokinetic data of gabapentin (GBP) in community-dwelling elderly patients show a significant effect of advanced age on GBP pharmacokinetics due to altered renal function. However, there are no data in elderly nursing home (NH) patients to evaluate gabapentin absorption and elimination. Our objective was to characterize the pharmacokinetics of GBP in elderly nursing home patients maintained on GBP therapy. This was a prospective pharmacokinetic study in elderly nursing home patients (≥60 years) receiving GBP for the management of chronic pain or epilepsy from seven nursing homes. Pharmacokinetic parameters were estimated by nonlinear mixed-effects modeling. A one-compartment model described the data and clearance (CL) was associated with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) (p < 0.0001). The GBP CL in elderly nursing home patients was 2.93 L/h. After adjusting for the effect of GFR, GBP CL was not affected by age, sex, body weight, or comorbidity scores. No significant effects of body size measures, age, and sex were detected on volume of distribution. Dose-dependent bioavailability of GBP was demonstrated, and the saturable absorption profile was described by a nonlinear hyperbolic function. Prediction-corrected visual predictive check (pc-VPC) suggests adequate fixed- and random-effects models that successfully simulated the mean trend and variability in gabapentin concentration-time profiles. In this analysis, the parameters of the hyperbolic nonlinearity appear to be similar between elderly and younger adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)551-556
Number of pages6
JournalAAPS Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was supported by the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health R01AG026390. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists.


  • elderly patients
  • gabapentin
  • nursing home
  • saturable absorption


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