Absorption, Metabolism and Elimination of Strophanthus Glycosides in Man

Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol. 1986 Dec;334(4):496-500. doi: 10.1007/BF00569392.


In 33 healthy male volunteers, given a single oral and intravenous dose of cymarin (k-strophanthin-alpha), k-strophanthoside (k-strophanthin-gamma) and ouabain (g-strophanthin), enteral absorption and renal excretion of these glycosides and their metabolites were investigated by radioimmunoassay and HPLC. Cymarin was absorbed at 47% of the given dose. After intravenous injection 46% and after oral administration 21% of the given dose, i.e. the total amount as detected by radioimmunoassay which consisted of the unchanged glycoside and its metabolites, were excreted by the kidneys mainly as conjugated metabolites. The half-life of elimination, calculated from the total excreted amount was 13 h (i.v.) and 23 h (p.o.), respectively. k-Strophanthoside was absorbed at 16% of the given dose. After i.v.-injection 73% of the given dose was excreted by the kidneys with a half-life of elimination of 99 h. From this total amount about 70% was excreted as the unchanged drug, the remaining 30% as various metabolites. After oral administration 11% of the given dose were excreted with a half-life of elimination of 22 h. 80% of this amount consisted mainly of conjugated k-strophanthoside and conjugated metabolites as k-strophanthin-beta, cymarin, k-strophanthidin, cymarol and k-strophanthidol. Only 6% was excreted as the unchanged drug. Ouabain was absorbed after oral administration to a minimum of 1.4%. Given intravenously a total renal excretion of 33% of the given dose with a half-life of elimination of 23 h was measured. Of this 80% was unchanged ouabain.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Biotransformation
  • Cymarine / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Intestinal Absorption
  • Male
  • Ouabain / metabolism
  • Strophanthins / metabolism*
  • Strophanthins / urine


  • Strophanthins
  • Ouabain
  • strophanthin K
  • Cymarine