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November 1968

Griseofulvin and Porphyrin Metabolism: Special Reference to Normal Fecal Porphyrin Excretion

Author Affiliations


From the Divisions of Internal Medicine and of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota, and the University Medical Unit, Northwestern Hospital, Minneapolis.

Arch Dermatol. 1968;98(5):451-468. doi:10.1001/archderm.1968.01610170011002

Porphyrin excretion was studied in 29 adults and 13 children receiving griseofulvin for fungal infection and 4 patients being given the drug for angina pectoris. The amounts of the principal fecal porphyrins were determined in all cases, the erythrocyte and urinary porphyrins in some. Fecal porphyrin determinations were also carried out in 21 normal adults and 9 normal children. The normal range and upper limit in the adults are higher than previously reported. Moderate though inconsistent increases of fecal protoporphyrin were observed in patients receiving griseofulvin, but even when given over a long period it did not disturb porphyrin metabolism in any marked degree. A previously unrecognized elevation of fecal porphyrins, especially protoporphyrin, was observed in cases of irritable spastic colon with prolonged sequestration of feces believed to promote bacterial porphyrin formation.