The effect of amiodarone on oral and intravenous pharmacokinetics of digoxin was studied in healthy volunteers. A single 0.5-mg dose of digoxin was administered orally to three subjects both before and after 2 weeks of oral amiodarone (200 mg daily), while three subjects received a 0.5-mg intravenous dose of the glycoside under the same experimental conditions. Two other subjects were given both oral and intravenous doses of digoxin at different times, in the absence and in the presence of amiodarone. After oral digoxin treatment, amiodarone increased peak serum concentration, total area under the serum concentration-time curve (AUC), and 5-day urinary recovery of the glycoside, without changes in peak time and absorption rate constant. During the intravenous study, no significant change occurred in AUC and urinary recovery after amiodarone administration. Absolute bioavailability, for the two subjects who received both oral and intravenous digoxin, increased by 36 and 43%, respectively, after amiodarone treatment. Bioavailability derived from the mean values of oral and intravenous AUCs was 33% greater with amiodarone treatment. Apparent volume of distribution and systemic, extrarenal, and renal clearances of oral digoxin were not modified by amiodarone, when corrected for the bioavailability factor. Amiodarone had no effect on these pharmacokinetic parameters during the intravenous study with the glycoside. Our data indicate that increased oral bioavailability is the most relevant change in digoxin pharmacokinetics during the interaction with amiodarone and this can account for the increase in the glycoside concentrations.
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