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Br J Clin Pharmacol. 1988 Feb;25(2):229-33.

Effects of resins and activated charcoal on the absorption of digoxin, carbamazepine and frusemide.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Pharmacology, University of Helsinki, Finland.


1. The interference of resins and activated charcoal with the absorption of digoxin, carbamazepine and frusemide was studied. 2. In a cross-over study consisting of four phases, single doses of colestipol hydrochloride (10 g), cholestyramine (8 g), activated charcoal (8 g) or water only were given to six healthy volunteers immediately after the simultaneous ingestion of digoxin (0.25 mg), carbamazepine (400 mg) and frusemide (40 mg). Plasma and urine concentrations of the test drugs and the urine volumes were determined up to 72 h. 3. The absorption of digoxin was not reduced by colestipol, moderately (30-40%, P less than 0.05) reduced by cholestyramine and greatly (96%) by charcoal. 4. The absorption of carbamazepine was not decreased by cholestyramine, slightly (10%) by colestipol and greatly (90%) by activated charcoal. 5. The absorption and the diuretic effect of frusemide were significantly diminished by all agents. The bioavailability was reduced by colestipol 80%, by cholestyramine 95% and by activated charcoal 99.5%. 6. The interference with the gastrointestinal absorption of most of the basic drugs by colestipol and cholestyramine seems to be minimal. On the other hand, the resins may seriously impair the absorption of certain acidic drugs, for example frusemide.

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