In this open-label study, the disposition of fleroxacin in liver disease in 12 healthy male volunteers, 6 male cirrhotics without ascites (group A), and 6 male cirrhotics with ascites (group B) was evaluated. Fleroxacin (400 mg) was administered orally and intravenously to each subject in a random crossover fashion. Fleroxacin was completely absorbed and achieved similar peak concentrations in plasma in all three study groups (P greater than 0.05). The volume of distribution exceeded 1 liter/kg in healthy controls and was not affected by liver impairment (P greater than 0.05). Only group B demonstrated differences in the pharmacokinetic parameters evaluated: the systemic and renal clearances of fleroxacin and the renal clearances and clearances of the two major metabolites of fleroxacin formed, N-demethyl fleroxacin and fleroxacin N-oxide, were significantly lower and the half-lives of the parent drug and its metabolites were significantly longer in group B than in healthy controls and group A (P less than 0.05). The elimination of the two metabolites appeared to be formation rate limited in all three study groups. It was concluded from this study that a 50% reduction in the fleroxacin maintenance dose in patients with liver disease appears justified only in patients with ascites. However, no change in the fleroxacin loading dose is needed in patients with compromised liver function
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