The majority of absorbed isopropanol (80%) is metabolised to acetone, while the remaining 20% is excreted unchanged via the lungs, kidney, saliva and gastric secretions. Reabsorption may follow excretion via the last two routes. The metabolite, acetone, is eliminated predominately by the kidney and some via the lungs (Smith, 1983; Bevan, 2001).

Elimination of isopropanol follows first-order kinetics with a half-life ranging from 2.9-16.2 hours (Pappas et al., 1991; Chan et al., 1993; Baselt, 2000). Urinary elimination of isopropanol is approximately 540 mg per hour (calculated from Rosansky, 1982). The elimination of the metabolite, acetone, is longer at 18-27 hours (Natowicz et al., 1985; Sakata et al., 1989; Jones, 2000).

Isopropanol is rapidly eliminated via haemodialysis at a rate of 27,000 mg per hour, which is approximately fifty times the rate of removal by urinary elimination alone (Rosansky, 1982).

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