Disposition of the selective alpha1A-adrenoceptor antagonist tamsulosin in humans: comparison with data from interspecies scaling

J Pharm Sci. 1997 Oct;86(10):1156-61. doi: 10.1021/js960303k.


Tamsulosin-HCl is an alpha1A-adrenoceptor antagonist that is mainly eliminated by metabolism in animals and humans and is highly bound to alpha1-acid glycoprotein in blood plasma. The disposition of the compound (0.4 mg as modified-release granules in a capsule) was determined in male volunteers, using intravenous (iv) infusion of tamsulosin-HCl (0.125 mg over 4 h) as reference treatment for the assessment of absolute oral bioavailability. Disposition parameters of iv tamsulosin in humans was compared with data predicted from animal data by interspecies scaling techniques. Levels after iv dosing in humans showed a biexponential decline, with mean half-lives (+/-SD) of 1.2 +/- 0.6 and 6.8 +/- 3.5 h, respectively. The mean systemic clearance (+/-SD) was low (viz., 48 +/- 24 mL/min). The mean volume of distribution (+/-SD) was rather small (21 +/- 6 L), and was estimated at 16 +/- 4 L in the steady state. The mean absolute oral bioavailability (+/-SD) was approximated at 100 +/- 19%. Systemic clearance in humans was poorly predictable from a logarithmic clearance versus body weight relation of rat, rabbit, and dog data. The prediction improved dramatically (accuracy 213%) when scaling was done with systemic clearance values of unbound drug, and it improved further (accuracy 59%) with the product of unbound clearance and maximum life-span potential. Also, the prediction of volume of distribution improved dramatically (accuracy 81%) after correction for differences in extent of protein binding between species. The terminal disposition half-life of 7.0 h, as predicted after integrating maximum life-span potential and protein binding in scaling of clearance, was very close to the value of 6.8 h established experimentally in humans. The present results with tamsulosin underline the importance of correction for extent of protein binding in allometric scaling of clearance and distribution volume.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic alpha-1 Receptor Antagonists*
  • Adrenergic alpha-Antagonists / blood
  • Adrenergic alpha-Antagonists / pharmacokinetics*
  • Animals
  • Dogs
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Rabbits
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred F344
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, alpha-1
  • Species Specificity
  • Sulfonamides / blood
  • Sulfonamides / pharmacokinetics*
  • Tamsulosin


  • ADRA1A protein, human
  • Adra1a protein, rat
  • Adrenergic alpha-1 Receptor Antagonists
  • Adrenergic alpha-Antagonists
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, alpha-1
  • Sulfonamides
  • Tamsulosin