The pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of the oral iron chelator deferiprone (L1) in relation to hemoglobin levels

F. F. Fassos, J. Klein, D. Fernandes, D. Matsui, N. F. Olivieri, G. Koren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Recently, we demonstrated that administration of the orally active iron chelating agent deferiprone (1,2-dimethyl-3-hydroxypyrid-4-one (L1)) at 6-hour intervals results in significantly greater urinary iron excretion than that induced during administration of the drug at 12-hour intervals. That study was conducted in thalassemia patients, all of whom had received a packed red cell transfusion of 15 cc/kg, 72 hours prior to evaluation of urinary iron excretion, at a time when endogenous erythropoiesis would be expected to be at its lowest. In clinical practice however, thalassemia patients' suppression of endogenous erythropoiesis is not sustained between transfusions. We set out to determine the influence that administration of deferiprone has on urinary iron excretion at lower hemoglobin concentrations, immediately prior to transfusion. We hypothesized that hemoglobin levels will affect the ability of deferiprone to chelate iron. Ten regularly transfused patients with homozygous β-thalassemia (HBT) aged mean ± SD, 20.9 ± 4.7, range 13-27 years, receiving long-term therapy with deferiprone, were treated with deferiprone 75 mg/kg/day, administered every 6 hours (or every 12 hours) for 72 hours immediately prior to a blood transfusion in the first month. One month later each patient received the other of the 2 dosing regimens for 72 hours immediately prior to transfusion, The deferiprone-induced 24-hour urinary iron excretion was similar during both dosing regimens; 0.56 ± 0.45 mg/kg when L1 was given every 6 hours and 0.48 ± 0.52 mg/kg when L1 was administered every 12 hours (p = 0.79). However, the calculated 24-hour area under the plasma concentration-time curve (AUC 0-24) of deferiprone was significantly lower when deferiprone was administered at g-hour intervals (6762.8 ± 1601.6 mg(*)min/l), than that observed when deferiprone was administered every 12 hours (8250.1 ± 1235.7 mg(*)min/l) (p = 0.04). The pharmacokinetics of deferiprone when administered immediately prior to transfusions are different from those following transfusions. More studies assessing total body iron excretion are needed to determine the contribution of the fecal route in iron excretion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)288-292
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 29-07-1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'The pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of the oral iron chelator deferiprone (L1) in relation to hemoglobin levels'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this