Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Neonatal sepsis is a major cause of infant mortality in developing countries because of delayed injectable treatment, making it urgent to develop noninjectable formulations that can reduce treatment delays in resource-limited settings. Ceftriaxone, available only for injection, needs absorption enhancers to achieve adequate bioavailability via nonparenteral administration. This article presents all available data on the nonparenteral absorption of ceftriaxone in humans and animals, including unpublished work carried out by F. Hoffmann-La Roche (Roche) in the 1980s and new data from preclinical studies with rabbits, and discusses the importance of these data for the development of noninjectable formulations for noninvasive treatment. The combined results indicate that the rectal absorption of ceftriaxone is feasible and likely to lead to a bioavailable formulation that can reduce treatment delays in neonatal sepsis. A bile salt, chenodeoxycholate sodium salt (Na-CDC), used as an absorption enhancer at a 125-mg dose, together with a 500-mg dose of ceftriaxone provided 24% rectal absorption of ceftriaxone and a maximal plasma concentration of 21 µg/ml with good tolerance in human subjects. The rabbit model developed can also be used to screen for the bioavailability of other formulations before assessment in humans.

Original publication




Journal article


Antimicrob Agents Chemother

Publication Date





antibiotic, pediatric, pediatric drug therapy, rectal route, third-generation cephalosporins