Fate of Orally Administered 3H-Digitoxin in Man with Special Reference to the Absorption
3H-digitoxin and polyethylene glycol (nonabsorbable marker) were given orally to five subjects provided with a gastrointestinal tube. Of the radioactivity administered, approximately 15, 30, and 70% had been absorbed when the test solution was passing the stomach, the duodenum, and the upper jejunum, respectively. The absorption was rapid, and the plasma contained detectable amounts of radioactivity after 5 minutes. There was no evidence of a disposition of 3H-digitoxin in intestinal aspirates. On a sixth subject labeled digitoxin was instilled in the mid-jejunum. The concentration of label in the plasma and the pattern of elimination of radioactivity in the urine and the feces in this subject indicated that the absorption of digitoxin was effective also in the more distal part of the gut. The combined results from the present study indicate that the absorption of orally administered digitoxin is complete.
The biliary excretion of label 4 to 24 hours after the start of the experiments was calculated from the bilirubin turnover and the mean radioactivity per mg bilirubin in duodenal aspirates obtained after intravenous injections of cholecystokinin. Less than 10% of the administered dose appeared to be excreted with the bile.
The radioactivity recovered in plasma showed less decomposition than that found in duodenal bile and urine.
- Received December 31, 1970.
- Accepted February 26, 1971.
- © 1971 American Heart Association, Inc.