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Br J Clin Pharmacol. Nov 1995; 40(5): 489–493.
PMCID: PMC1365197

Ethnic differences in nifedipine kinetics: comparisons between Nigerians, Caucasians and South Asians.


Nifedipine was administered to 12 healthy Nigerian volunteers as a single oral dose of 20 mg capsule under fasting conditions. The pharmacokinetic results were compared with published data using the same protocol and analytical method for 27 Caucasians and 30 South Asians. The area under the plasma concentration-time curve (AUC) of nifedipine in Nigerians (808 +/- 250 ng ml-1 h) was significantly higher (P < 0.001) than that in Caucasians (323 +/- 116 ng ml-1 h) and the difference remained significant (P < 0.001) when corrected for body weight. The elimination half-life was also significantly higher (P < 0.01) in Nigerians (5.03 +/- 1.96 h) than in Caucasians (2.78 +/- 1.11 h). No significant differences were observed between Nigerians and South Asians in either AUC or half-life of nifedipine. The AUC of the nitropyridine metabolite was higher (P < 0.01) in Nigerians (220 +/- 51 ng ml-1 h) compared with that in Caucasians (154 +/- 56 ng ml-1 h) but the difference was not maintained when corrected for body weight. The AUC corrected for body weight and the elimination half-life of the metabolite were significantly higher in South Asians compared with those of Nigerians and Caucasians. The pharmacokinetics of oral nifedipine in Nigerians were similar to those in South Asians and therefore may also arise from a lower systemic clearance compared with Caucasians as has been reported previously for South Asians.

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