Pharmacokinetics and Effects of Propranolol in Terminal Uraemic Patients and in Patients Undergoing Regular Dialysis Treatment

G. Bianchetti, G. Graziani, D. Brancaccio, A. Morganti, G. Leonetti, M. Manfrin, R. Sega, R. Gomeni, C. Ponticelli, P. L. Morselli

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Propranolol blood and plasma levels were measured after a single oral dose of 40mg in patients with chronic renal failure, in patients undergoing regular dialysis treatment, and in healthy volunteers. Peak levels were observed in all cases within 1.5 to 3 hours. However, peak blood and plasma concentrations of propranolol in the chronic renal failure group were 2- to 3-fold higher (161 ± 41ng/ml) than those observed in the dialysis patients (47 ± 9ng/ml) and in the healthy volunteers (26 ± 1ng/ml). The apparent plasma clearance was also significantly reduced in the patients with chronic renal failure. The data suggest a reduced hepatic extraction in chronic renal failure patients. A significant increase in the fraction of the dose available to the systemic circulation was also found, together with a modification of apparent plasma half-life and volume of distribution in regular dialysis patients during the dialysis day as compared with the after-dialysis day. No extraction of propranolol by the dialyzer was noticed. Marked fluctuations in propranolol blood concentrations were also observed in patients on regular dialysis following continuous propranolol treatment. The suppressive effect of propranolol on plasma renin activity did not fully correlate with the hypotensive effect of the drug. On the basis of the reported data, propranolol should be used with great caution and at low doses in chronic renal failure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-384
Number of pages12
JournalClinical Pharmacokinetics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1976

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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