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Keywords:

  • Methadone;
  • everted intestinal sac;
  • metabolism;
  • mass spectrometry;
  • absorption;
  • efflux transport;
  • P-glycoprotein

Abstract— Methadone is used as a treatment for opiate detoxification in methadone maintenance programs. Intra- and inter-patient variations in methadone bioavailability have been observed after oral methadone treatment and this makes it difficult to predict a dosing regimen. Intestinal absorption and metabolism could explain these variations. The in vitro gut sac model was used to study the intestinal absorption of methadone, and it confirmed that methadone is a substrate for P-glycoprotein. The transport of methadone was increased in presence of P-gp inhibitors verapamil and quinidine. The appearance of a major metabolite of methadone, 2-ethylidene-1, 5-dimethyl-3, 3-diphenyl pyrrolidine (EDDP) in the gut sac contents also demonstrated the existence of intestinal metabolism of methadone.