Disposition of tin‐protoporphyrin and suppression of hyperbilirubinemia in humans

Karl E. Anderson, Creuza S. Simionatto, George S. Drummond, Attallah Kappas

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50 Scopus citations


Tin (Sn4+)-protoporphyrin, a potent competitive inhibitor of heme degradation to bile pigment, was cleared rapidly from plasma in normal subjects (t( 1/2 ) ~4 hours for plasma levels >5 nmol/ml, with evidence of dose-dependent pharmacokinetics at lower plasma concentrations). Small amounts were excreted promptly in urine (0.1% to 5.6%) and more gradually in feces (3.7% to 11.3%). The only dose-limiting (>1.0 μmol/kg, single dose) side effect was mild sensitivity to sunlight and long-wave ultraviolet light. Absorption after intramuscular administration was rapid, but there was no absorption after oral dosing. In bile duct-ligated rats treated with Sn-protoporphyrin, there was a substantial (approximately 50%) reduction in plasma bilirubin levels compared with levels in ligated control animals. Seven studies were carried out in four women with moderate to severe cholestasis secondary to primary biliary cirrhosis and in two men with Gilbert's syndrome. In these studies Sn-protoporphyrin (total doses of 0.25 to 2.0 μmol/kg body weight) reduced plasma bilirubin levels to a varying degree (7% to 43%) promptly after its intravenous administration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)510-520
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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