Prediction of milk/plasma concentration ratio of drugs

Line Alleslev Larsen, Shinya Ito, Gideon Koren

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: The milk to plasma (m/p) concentration ratio of drugs is used to estimate the amount of drug offered to the suckling infant. Published literature was reviewed to identify drugs for which sufficient data exist for calculation of m/p ratio and to examine whether the existing empiric data agree with the published method of Atkinson for mathematical prediction of m/p ratios based on physiochemical characteristics. METHODS: Using a comprehensive reference text, we identified studies reporting sufficient data to calculate m/ p ratio based on the AUC for milk and plasma. Subsequently, we calculated the m/p ratio with Atkinson's formula based on pKa, lipophilicity, and protein binding. We then correlated the empiric versus predicted (calculated) m/p ratios. RESULTS: Of 192 drugs of which at least some data on milk accumulation have been published, there were sufficient data to quantify m/p ratios for only 69 medications (78 studies). There was no significant correlation between the empiric m/p ratios and the predicted values using the Atkinson's model. CONCLUSIONS: Reliable data on m/p concentration ratios exist for few medications. Presently, there is no appropriate model to predict milk concentrations of drugs in humans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1299-1306
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Pharmacotherapy
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast milk
  • Drug concentration


Dive into the research topics of 'Prediction of milk/plasma concentration ratio of drugs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this