1991 Volume 38 Issue 2 Pages 167-174
The pharmacokinetics of total and free prednisolone (PSL) in six healthy men, with or without pretreatment with oral glycyrrhizin (GL), was investigated to confirm whether oral administration of GL influences the metabolism of PSL in man. Each subject received an intravenous administration of 0.096 mg/kg of prednisolone hemisuccinate (PSL-HS) with or without pretreatment with 50 mg of oral GL four times. Blood samples were taken from a peripheral vein at 5, 10, 15, 30, 45 min and 1, 1.5, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 24 h after the start of PSL-HS infusion. The concentrations of total PSL in plasma were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography, and the free PSL was measured by an isocolloidosmolar equilibrium dialysis method. The pharmacokinetic parameters of PSL were determined by non-compartment analysis. Oral administration of GL was found to significantly increase the concentrations of total PSL at 6, 8 h, and of free PSL at 4, 6 and 8 h after PSL-HS infusion. Moreover, oral administration of GL was also found to modify the pharmacokinetics of both total and free PSL. After oral administration of GL, the area under the curve (AUC) was significantly increased, the total plasma clearance (CL) was significantly decreased, and the mean residence time (MRT) was significantly prolonged. However, the volume of distribution (Vdss) showed no evident change. This suggests that oral administration of GL increases the plasma PSL concentrations and influences its pharmacokinetics by inhibiting its metabolism, but not by affecting its distribution.