Altered volume of distribution.
Liver failure ---> leads to decreased albumin, and a decreased bound fraction of highly protein-bound drugs
So take care in applying drug assay results for highly protein bound drugs.
Decreased plasma albumin --> decreased plasma osmotic pressure, and increased tissue fluid (maybe> 10L), which increases the Vd for highly H2O-soluble drugs.
This increased in Vd increases the half-life, if the rate of clearance is unchanged.
eg if Vd increases by 20%, plasma concentration will decrease by 20%, so clearing 10 L ofplasma/hour removes 20% less drug, so it takes longer for half thedrug in the body to be removed.
This means prolonged exposure to the toxic effects of the drugs-
- Aminoglycosides – renal damage and deafness
- Methotrexate: decreased DNA synth – bone marrow and gut toxicity.