Haemolytic effect of two sulphonamides evaluated by a new method

Br J Haematol. 1976 Feb;32(2):183-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2141.1976.tb00921.x.


A technique to investigate drugs which could cause haemolysis in subjects deficient in glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (D-glucose-6-phosphate: NADP oxidoreductase; G6PD) has been developed. The method is based on the technique of 14CO2 evolution during the incubation of normal erythrocytes in the presence of [I-14C]glucose and their own serum, the latter containing the active metabolites of the drugs received by normal subjects. By this method agents causing a stimulation of the hexosemonophosphate pathway of normal erythrocytes should be regarded as potentially haemolytic for G6PD-deficient subjects. Two sulphonamides, sulphormethoxine and sulphalene, of which until now no haemolytic effects have been reported, together with chloroquine, have been investigated. While chloroquine does not affect the hexosemonophosphate shunt of normal erythrocytes, the two sulphonamides stimulate this pathway. THE RESULTS ARE CONFIrmed by the reduction of the half-life of 51Cr-labelled G6PD-deficient red cells (Mediterranean variant), after administration of the two sulphonamides.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Chloroquine / pharmacology
  • Erythrocytes / drug effects
  • Erythrocytes / metabolism*
  • Glucosephosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency / blood*
  • Hemolysis*
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Sulfadoxine / adverse effects*
  • Sulfalene / adverse effects*
  • Sulfanilamides / adverse effects*


  • Sulfanilamides
  • Sulfadoxine
  • Chloroquine
  • Sulfalene