The Effects of Urine pH Modification on the Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics of Phenylpropanolamine

Cheryl L. Zimmerman, Mary Beth O'Connell, Inmaculada Soria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


To determine whether uninary alkalinization had an effect on the plasma pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of phenylpropanolamine, a double-blind crossover study was conducted in four healthy, normotensive male volunteers. The subjects received 25 mg immediate-release phenylpropanolamine and either placebo or sodium bicarbonate in a balanced randomized order. The bicarbonate treatment consisted of 6 g sodium bicarbonate 30 min prior to the phenylpropanolamine and then 3 g sodium bicarbonate every 4 hr for the next 16 hr. During the control treatment, phenylpropanolamine and a placebo for bicarbonate (lactose) were given on the same schedule. Blood and urine samples were collected over 24 hr and analyzed by HPLC. A supine blood pressure and pulse were obtained before each blood sample. The bicarbonate treatment significantly increased the urine pH throughout the study period and decreased phenylpropanolamine renal clearance by 33.5%. The apparent total-body clearance was also decreased by 31.5% and resulted in higher postabsorptive plasma phenylpropanolamine concentrations in each subject as compared to the control treatment. Both systolic and diastolic blood pressures changed significantly from baseline in both treatments. The bicarbonate treatment was accompanied by significantly higher diastolic blood pressures than in the control treatment, but there was no effect on systolic blood pressures. Generally, when the blood pressure–concentration pairs were plotted chronologically, clockwise hysteresis curves resulted. Heart rates did not change significantly from baseline values for either treatment. In this small group of normotensive healthy male volunteers, urinary alkalinization significantly depressed the renal clearance of phenylpropanolamine, producing higher postabsorptive phenylpropanolamine plasma concentrations and a small but significant increase in the diastolic blood pressure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)96-102
Number of pages7
JournalPharmaceutical Research: An Official Journal of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1990


  • pharmacodynamics
  • pharmacokinetics
  • phenylpropanolamine
  • renal clearance
  • urinary pH modification
  • urine alkalinization


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