Spironolactone Metabolism: Steady-State Serum Levels of the Sulfur-Containing Metabolites
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Metabolism of spironolactone in man is extensive and complex. For many years the dethioacetylated metabolite, canrenone, was assumed to be the major metabolite. However, recent studies using specific high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) have demonstrated the presence of spironolactone and the sulfur-containing metabolites 7 alpha-thiomethylspirolactone (IV) and 6 beta-hydroxy-7 alpha-thiomethylspirolactone (V), in addition to canrenone, in the serum after a single oral dose of spironolactone. The importance of spironolactone and metabolites IV and V relative to canrenone at steady state remains unknown and was the subject of the present investigation. Twelve healthy males received 100 mg spironolactone, once daily, for 15 days. Repeated blood samples were taken on days 1, 8 and 15 for estimation of spironolactone and its metabolites. Peak serum levels [mean (SD)] of spironolactone, canrenone, and sulfur-containing metabolites IV and V were 72 (45), 155 (43), 359 (106) and 101 (26) ng/ml, respectively on day 1 and 80 (20), 181 (39), 391 (118) and 125 (24) ng/ml, respectively on day 15. The AUC (0-24) values of these compounds on day 15 were 231 (50), 2173 (312), 2804 (777) and 1727 (367) ng.hr/ml, respectively and the post-steady state elimination half-life (t1/2) values were 1.4 (0.5), 16.5 (6.3), 13.8 (6.4), and 15.0 (4.0) hours, respectively. It was concluded that unmetabolized spironolactone is present in the serum and that the sulfur-containing metabolite IV rather than canrenone is the major metabolite in serum following single or repeated doses of spironolactone.
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