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J Pharm Pharmacol. 1998 Feb; 50(2): 231-6.

Effects of Sho-saiko-to on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of tolbutamide in rats.

Nishimura N, Naora K, Hirano H, Iwamoto K.

Department of Pharmacy, Shimane Medical University Hospital, Izumo, Japan.

Although Sho-saiko-to (Xiao Chai Hu Tang), a major Chinese traditional medicine, is frequently prescribed with other synthetic or biotechnological drugs for the treatment of various chronic diseases, there is a dearth of information about interactions between sho-saiko-to and co-administered drugs. This paper reports the effects of Sho-saiko-to on the pharmacokinetics and glucose responses of a sulphonylurea hypoglycaemic agent, tolbutamide, after their oral administration in rats. After oral administration of tolbutamide (50 mg kg(-1)) with or without Sho-saiko-to extract powder (300 mg kg(-1)) to male Sprague-Dawley rats cannulated in the jugular vein, plasma tolbutamide and glucose levels were periodically measured. Co-administration of Sho-saiko-to tended to elevate the plasma tolbutamide concentration in the absorption phase. A two-compartment lag-time model was found to describe the plasma tolbutamide concentration-time data. The maximum concentration of tolbutamide was significantly increased and time to reach the maximum concentration was reduced to about 70% by co-administration with Sho-saiko-to. There was no significant change in area under the curve or in the elimination half-life of tolbutamide. The extent of the lowering effect of tolbutamide on plasma glucose levels was increased up to 0.75 h and decreased after 5 h after co-administration of Sho-saiko-to. In conclusion, these studies suggest that sho-saiko-to slightly hastens the gastrointestinal absorption of tolbutamide. Furthermore, it is considered that elevation of the gastrointestinal absorption rate by Sho-saiko-to might potentiate the hypoglycaemic effect of this sulphonylurea in the early period after oral administration.

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