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Pharmacology. 1993 Oct;47 Suppl 1:120-4.

Rhein and aloe-emodin kinetics from senna laxatives in man.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacokinetics, Madaus AG, Köln, FRG.


Therapeutic doses of two laxatives (Agiolax and Sennatin) were repeatedly administered to 10 healthy volunteers in a two-way change-over design. Blood samples were collected up to 96 h after the first dose, and plasma levels of total aloe-emodin and rhein were determined simultaneously with a sensitive (lower limit of quantification: 0.5 ng aloe-emodin and 2.5 ng rhein per millilitre plasma) and specific fluorometric HPLC method. Aloe-emodin was not detectable in any plasma sample of any subject. Rhein concentration time courses showed highest levels of 150-160 ng/ml and peak maxima at 3-5 h and 10-11 h after dosing probably according to absorption of free rhein and rhein released from prodrugs (e.g. sennosides) by bacterial metabolism, respectively.

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