Pharmacology & toxicology

Biopharmaceutical aspects of tolfenamic acid.

PMID 7816776


The pharmacokinetics of tolfenamic acid is well described by a two-compartment model with relatively short half-lives (T/2 beta 1-2 hours) and tolfenamic acid is highly protein-bound with small volumes of distribution. It is cleared relatively fast (150-200 ml/min), mainly by hepatic metabolism and the metabolites are renally cleared as glucuronic acid conjugates. The peroral absorption is good and the peroral bioavailability is about 75%, as first pass metabolism accounts for about 20%. Tolfenamic acid shows linear pharmacokinetics and during multiple dosage regimen, i.e. thrice daily, no accumulation beyond the second dose is observed. The bioavailability in dependence of age and disease has been studied and only in the case of severe liver or kidney impairment, a change in dosage regimen seems warranted. The development of different formulations will be outlined, mainly on rectal delivery, on sustained release and rapid release oral formulations, on topical ointment, and on parenteral delivery. The problems with tolfenamic acid in pharmaceutical formulation caused mainly by poor solubility will be discussed. Formulations ready for the market now or very soon are Clotam capsules (tablets). Clotam retard tablets, Clotam suppositories, and Clotam oral suspension, whereas rapid tablets, topical ointments, and parenteral formulations need further development to be ready for marketing in the years to come.