Effects of probenecid on the pharmacokinetics and elimination of acyclovir in humans

O. L. Laskin, P. de Miranda, D. H. King, D. A. Page, J. A. Longstreth, L. Rocco, P. S. Lietman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


The effects of probenecid on the pharmacokinetics and renal clearance of acyclovir were studied in humans. Acyclovir (5 mg/kg) was given as 1-h infusion to three volunteers with normal renal function both before and after oral administration of probenecid (1 g). The kinetics were well described by a two-compartment open model with zero-order infusion. The mean acyclovir concentrations at all time points after 1.0 h from the end of acyclovir infusion following probenecid administration, were statistically higher than the corresponding mean acyclovir concentrations following the acyclovir infusion without probenecid administration. In the absence of probenecid, the renal clearance (248 ± 80 ml/min per 1.73 m2) accounted for 83% of the total clearance (300 ± 69 ml/min per 1.73 m2) and was almost threefold greater than the estimated creatinine clearance (90±48 ml/min per 1.73 m2). After probenecid administration, there was a 32% decline in renal clearance (248 to 168 ml/min per 1.73 m2; P≤ 0.05), a 40% increase in the area under the curve (91.3 to 127.6 nmol.h/ml; P<0.05), and an 18% increase in the terminal plasma hlaf-life (2.3 to 2.7 h; P < 0.01). Although statistically significant, these effects due to the influence of probenecid probably have only limited clinical importance. In this study we confirmed that acyclovir is eliminated predominantly by renal clearance, both by glomerular filtration and tubular secretion; our results suggested that at least part of the tubular secretion is inhibited by probenecid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)804-807
Number of pages4
JournalUnknown Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1982
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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