Last Updated 03/12/12
Alcohol elimination

Ethanol elimination is an example of a zero-order (saturating) process. In the case of ethanol, the available alcohol dehydrogenase enzyme is working as hard as it can, especially if a large amount of alcohol has been ingested. Unlike a first order system, the rate of elimination is not increased if the blood alcohol level is higher.

Taking an arbitrary blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 2.05 mg/L, the BAC is above that threshold for about 3 hours. Oral dose of 495 mg of alcohol

Now let's double the dose of alcohol ingested to 1,000 mg. The time during which the BAC is above the 2.05 mg/L threshold is now 11 hours. Doubling the dose of alcohol more than doubled the time above an arbitrary threshold. Oral dose of 1000 mg of alcohol

What would happen for a 495 mg alcohol dose in a person with a smaller volume of distribution like a woman compared to man? The time above the arbitrary threshold is 8 hours compared to 3 hours when the volume of distribution is decreased from 50 to 30 L.Oral dose of 495 mg of alcohol in a smaller person