Pharmacokinetics of non-prescription sympathomimetic agents

Biopharm Drug Dispos. 1989 Jan-Feb;10(1):1-14. doi: 10.1002/bdd.2510100102.


The pharmacokinetics of non-prescription sympathomimetic agents are discussed with respect to absorption from the gastrointestinal tract, volumes of distribution, metabolism and renal excretion. Where specific data are not available, postulations are made with inference from the chemical structures of these agents, or from studies with other drugs. No studies on hypertensive patients have been found, but attempts are made to correlate any possible changes in the pharmacokinetics of these sympathomimetic agents to hypertensive patients as a high proportion of the elderly population is hypertensive. Sympathomimetic agents with lesser polar hydroxyl groups, for example, are thought to be more lipophilic and are more readily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract, have higher volumes of distribution, and are more extensively metabolized. Major metabolic pathways include oxidation, deamination, demethylation, and conjugation. Most of these agents are excreted primarily through the kidneys and due to their basic nature, the rate of excretion is dependent on urinary pHs. Any alteration in kidney functions such as in the aged is, therefore, expected to have some clinical significance on the pharmacokinetics of these agents.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nonprescription Drugs / pharmacokinetics*
  • Sex Factors
  • Sympathomimetics / pharmacokinetics*


  • Nonprescription Drugs
  • Sympathomimetics