The pharmacokinetics of metronidazole 500 mg orally were determined in patients with hepatosplenic schistosomiasis and normal controls in the Sudan, and in cirrhotics and normal controls in Bristol. Plasma metronidazole levels were above the minimum inhibitory concentration of most susceptible anaerobic bacteria for four to six hours post-dose in all groups. Liver disease did not markedly influence the disposition of single oral doses of metronidazole. Cirrhotics showed some prolongation of metronidazole half-life, and somewhat greater metronidazole concentrations 24 hours after the dose. Concentrations of the oxidative metabolite of metronidazole were lower in Sudanese patients and normal controls than in normal British subjects. In chronic liver disease adjustment of metronidazole dosage is probably not required provided renal function is unimpaired.
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