Stereoselective inhibition of pindolol renal clearance by cimetidine in humans

Clin Pharmacol Ther. 1992 Apr;51(4):379-87. doi: 10.1038/clpt.1992.37.


There are few data on whether differences exist in the renal tubular secretion of enantiomers and no data on whether inhibition of renal secretion of individual enantiomers is stereoselective. Pindolol was used as a probe drug because it is used clinically as a racemic mixture of R-(+) and S-(-) enantiomeric forms and is highly secreted by the proximal tubules of the kidney. Eight young healthy subjects received a single 15 mg oral dose of racemic pindolol with and without 400 mg cimetidine twice daily. The area under the plasma concentration-time curve of both R-(+)- and S-(-)-pindolol were significantly (p less than 0.01) increased by cimetidine from 234 +/- 90 (mean +/- SD) to 344 +/- 78 ng/ for R-(+)-pindolol and from 209 +/- 73 to 288 +/- 69 ng/ for S-(-)-pindolol. The renal clearance of R-(+)-pindolol (170 +/- 55 ml/min) was significantly (p less than 0.05) less than that for S-(-)-pindolol (222 +/- 66 ml/min). Cimetidine significantly (p less than 0.01) reduced the renal clearances of R-(+)-pindolol to 104 +/- 18 ml/min and for S-(-)-pindolol to 155 +/- 38 ml/min. The enantiomer with the higher renal clearance [S-(-)-pindolol] had its renal clearance reduced less by cimetidine (26% versus 34%, p less than 0.05). Cimetidine appears to have a stereoselective action on the active transport system for organic cations in the proximal tubule.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Biological Transport, Active / drug effects
  • Cimetidine / pharmacology*
  • Drug Interactions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney / drug effects*
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Male
  • Metabolic Clearance Rate / drug effects
  • Pindolol / blood
  • Pindolol / pharmacokinetics*
  • Pindolol / urine
  • Stereoisomerism


  • Cimetidine
  • Pindolol