Reduction in oral penicillamine absorption by food, antacid, and ferrous sulfate

Clin Pharmacol Ther. 1983 Apr;33(4):465-70. doi: 10.1038/clpt.1983.63.


Plasma levels of penicillamine, urinary recovery of penicillamine and its oxidized metabolites, and urinary excretion of copper were examined after single 500-mg oral doses of penicillamine to six healthy men. Penicillamine was given after an overnight fast, a standard breakfast, and after antacid and ferrous sulfate. Following the fasting dose, the mean peak plasma level of 3.05 micrograms/ml developed at 3.8 hr and the drug was cleared from plasma with a t1/2 of 2.1 hr. Penicillamine levels were reduced to 52%, 35%, and 66% of those from the fasting dose after food, ferrous sulfate, and antacid. The rates of penicillamine appearance and disappearance from plasma were essentially treatment independent. There were good correlations between urinary recovery of total penicillamine (r = 0.875), between urinary copper excretion (r = 0.758) and the penicillamine plasma concentration AUCs. The availability of oral penicillamine is very susceptible to interactions with other substances. Further studies may be necessary to assess the full clinical significance of these interactions.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Absorption
  • Adult
  • Antacids / pharmacology*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Copper / urine
  • Drug Interactions
  • Ferrous Compounds / pharmacology*
  • Food*
  • Humans
  • Iron / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Penicillamine / metabolism*
  • Random Allocation
  • Spectrophotometry, Atomic


  • Antacids
  • Ferrous Compounds
  • ferrous sulfate
  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Penicillamine