Quinidine reduces biliary clearance of digoxin in man

Eur J Clin Invest. 1987 Jun;17(3):262-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2362.1987.tb01246.x.


Quinidine is known to reduce the renal clearance of digoxin, but this effect does not completely explain the influence of quinidine on the total clearance of digoxin. We therefore studied the effect of quinidine administration on biliary clearance of digoxin in five patients with atrial fibrillation. Biliary clearance of digoxin under steady state conditions before and during treatment with quinidine was investigated using a duodenal-marker-perfusion technique. Quinidine caused an average 42% (range 21-65%, P less than 0.02) reduction of the measured biliary clearance of digoxin. We conclude that the biliary effect adds to the previously demonstrated inhibitory effect of quinidine on the renal clearance of digoxin and helps to explain the decrease in total clearance of the drug. This is the first demonstration in man of a pharmacokinetic drug interaction at the level of biliary excretion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Bile / drug effects
  • Bile / metabolism*
  • Digoxin / blood
  • Digoxin / metabolism*
  • Drug Interactions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Male
  • Metabolic Clearance Rate
  • Middle Aged
  • Quinidine / pharmacology*


  • Digoxin
  • Quinidine