Journal of Chinese Pharmaceutical Sciences ›› 2015, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (8): 557-562.DOI: 10.5246/jcps.2015.08.071

• Short communication • Previous Articles    

Pharmacokinetics, tissue distribution and excretion study of tetrandrine in rats

Aixia Ju, Yuhong Kang, Qingdan Xue, Qiuhong Li*   

  1. Heilongjiang University of Chinese Medicine, Harbin 150040, China
  • Received:2015-04-17 Revised:2015-05-20 Online:2015-08-22 Published:2015-06-15
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  • Supported by:

    The Scientific Research Fund Project of Heilongjiang University of Chinese Medicine (Grant No. 201408).


As an important bis-benzylisoquinoline alkaloid isolated from the bulbous root of Stephania tetrandra S. Moore, tetrandrine (Tet) is widely used for the treatment of malignant tumor due to its properties of reversing the multidrug resistance and apoptosis induction. In the present study, we aimed to evaluate the pharmacokinetics, tissue distribution and excretion of Tet in rats. Drug concentration in plasma and tissues was measured by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and the experimental data were analyzed using pharmacokinetic software DAS 2.0. The results showed that the plasma protein binding rate of Tet was 68.7%, indicating a higher protein binding drug. Tissue distribution was found in a descending order as follows: lung>heart>liver>kidney>spleen. Renal excretion was a major route of excretion, and the urine, bile and fecal excretion accounted for 25.73% of the administered dose. AUC0 of Tet in the liver was 20 times greater than that in plasma, indicating that Tet had a higher affinity for the liver. Moreover, CL in the liver was the lowest among all tissues, indicating that Tet with slow elimination might result in the accumulation. Therefore, we need to adjust the dose for patients who have dysfunction in liver and kidney. In addition, therapeutic drug monitoring in long-term clinical treatment, if necessary, should be carried out.

Key words: Tetrandrine, Tissue distribution, Excretion, Pharmacokinetics

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