To the Editor.—
Taylor and Halprin have recently published an interesting paper dealing with the percutaneous absorption of salicylic acid.1 Of course, this topic is of considerable clinical importance, particularly with reference to the potential hazards of salicylic acid after application to large areas of the body of psoriatic patients.We would like to discuss some of the conclusions reached by Taylor and Halprin. The most salient question concerns the collection of samples and sampling times, since these parameters are of considerable importance in terms of pharmacokinetic interpretation. Thus, conclusions regarding bioavailability can only be validly made from experiments in which sampling times are selected on a truly rational basis.2 From examination of the data in their Fig 2,1 it appears that since samples were taken at 5 and 10 hours, a substantial underestimate of Cp max (maximum serum concentration) and also bioavailability (ie, area under the
Cooper JW, Rhodes CT, Birmingham BK. Pharmacokinetics of Salicylic Acid. Arch Dermatol. 1976;112(11):1610. doi:10.1001/archderm.1976.01630350076020
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