Comparison of the pharmacokinetics of 1,2-dimethyl-3-hydroxypyrid-4-one (L1) in healthy volunteers, with and without co-administration of ferrous sulfate, to thalassemia patients

S. Stobie, J. Tyberg, D. Matsui, D. Fernandes, J. Klein, N. Olivieri, Y. Bentur, G. Koren

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Given the mortality and morbidity associated with acute iron intoxication, effective iron chelation which is easily administered in an emergency situation would be ideal. The pharmacokinetics of L1 were examined in 5 healthy adults male volunteers to assess its potential for use in acute iron overload. Ferrous sulfate (600mg) L1 (900mg), and ferrous sulfate and L1 were administered on three separate days, each one week apart. On each test day, blood samples were collected at regular intervals for the measurement of plasma L1 and total iron. Pharmacokinetic values were calculated. The data were also compared to that obtained in 10 patients with β-thalassemia and chronic iron overload. In the normal volunteers, a 20% decrease in the area under the concentration time curve of plasma iron and of plasma L1 was demonstrated when they were co-administered. There was no change in urinary iron excretion when L1 was given with iron (p=0.414). The elimination half-life of L1 in the thalassemia patients (137.65±48.65 min) was significantly longer than that in the healthy volunteer (77.56±13.0) (p=0.0047) due to larger apparent volume of distribution. In all of the iron-overloaded individuals L1 resulted in increased urinary iron excretion. None of the other pharmacokinetic variables compared were significantly different between these two groups. These studies indicate that at levels below saturation, transferrin does not allow L1 to remove absorbed iron in healthy volunteers, whereas in thalassemia patients, who are beyond saturation of their iron binding capacity, the drug binds iron and promotes its excretion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)602-605
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Clinical Pharmacology Therapy and Toxicology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 01-01-1993


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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