Danshen is a Chinese folk medicine commonly used in the Chinese population. The effects of Danshen on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of warfarin were studied in rats. In the phamacokinetic study, single oral doses of warfarin were administered to rats or after 3 days treatment with Danshen intraperitoneally twice daily. Plasma warfarin concentrations were measured for 48 h after each of two warfarin doses by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). In the pharmacodynamic study, the treatments were similar to the pharmacokinetic study, the prothrombin time (PT) was measured daily both in the Danshen treatment period and after the warfarin doses for 4 days. The absorption rate (Ka), volume of distribution (Vd) and elimination half-life (T1/2) of warfarin were significantly decreased while Cmax and Tmax were significantly increased affer treatment with Danshen. There was no significant change in PT during the Danshen treatment period while the PTs were increased significantly in the first two days after warfarin doses. Our results suggested that Danshen can increase the initial bioavailability of warfarin and also affect the elimination of warfarin. It can also increase the PT further after the warfarin doses. The pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic interactions observed in this study indicate a clinically important interaction between Danshen and warfarin if these two agents are taken together.
- prothrombin time
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