Renal excretion of pseudoephedrine in the rat

J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1979 Dec;211(3):555-60.


Pseudoephedrine is an organic base used in the treatment of upper respiratory tract disorders. Surgical techniques and experimental procedures were developed to study the renal elimination mechanisms for this drug in the rat. The ability to measure renal clearance accurately and to demonstrate renal secretion by a carrier-mediated transport system was verified by comparing results from N'-methylnicotinamide (NMN) excretion studies with literature results. Renal tubular secretion of NMN was shown to be saturable and was inhibited by mepiperphenidol to the same extent as that reported in the literature. Pseudoephedrine was cleared by the kidney at a rate in excess of inulin and close to or possibly greater than renal plasma flow. In addition to filtration and secretion, pseudoephedrine appeared to be subject to pH dependent passive reabsorption. When the secretion of pseudoephedrine was studied in detail, it was found to be nonsaturable for plasma levels of pseudoephedrine ranging from 0.16 to 1.5 microgram/ml. Secretion, however, was inhibited by mepiperphenidol suggesting a carrier-mediated process.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ephedrine / blood
  • Ephedrine / metabolism*
  • Ephedrine / urine
  • Erythrocytes / metabolism
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Kidney / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Protein Binding
  • Rats


  • Ephedrine