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Br J Clin Pharmacol. 1993 May;35(5):467-72.

The pharmacokinetics of naproxen, its metabolite O-desmethylnaproxen, and their acyl glucuronides in humans. Effect of cimetidine.

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Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Academic Hospital Sint Radboud, Geert Grooteplein Zuid, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


1. The pharmacokinetics of 500 mg naproxen given orally were described in 10 subjects using a direct h.p.l.c. analysis of the acyl glucuronide conjugates of naproxen and its metabolite O-desmethylnaproxen. 2. The mean elimination half-life of naproxen was 24.7 +/- 6.4 h (range 7 to 36 h). 3. Naproxen acyl glucuronide accounted for 50.8 +/- 7.3% of the dose recovered in the urine, its isomerised conjugate isoglucuronide for 6.5 +/- 2.0%, O-desmethylnaproxen acyl glucuronide for 14.3 +/- 3.4%, and its isoglucuronide for 5.5 +/- 1.3%. Naproxen and O-desmethylnaproxen were excreted in negligible amounts (< 1%). 4. Even though the urine pH of the subjects was kept acid in order to stabilize the acyl glucuronides, isomerisation took place in blood. 5. The extents of plasma binding of the unconjugated compounds were 98% (naproxen) and 100% (O-desmethylnaproxen), while naproxen acyl glucuronide binding was 92%; that of its isomer isoglucuronide 66%. O-desmethylnaproxen acyl glucuronide was 72% bound and its isoglucuronide was 42% bound. 6. Cimetidine (400 mg twice daily) decreased the t1/2 of naproxen by 39-60% (mean 47.3 +/- 11.5%; P = 0.0014) from 24.7 +/- 6.4 h to 13.2 +/- 1.0 h. It increased (10%) the urinary recovery of naproxen acyl glucuronide (P = 0.0492). The urinary recoveries of naproxen isoglucuronide and O-desmethylnaproxen acyl glucuronide remained unchanged.

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