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Probenecid ball-and-stick.png
Clinical data
Trade names Probalan
AHFS/ Monograph
MedlinePlus a682395
Routes of
ATC code
Legal status
Legal status
  • In general: ℞ (Prescription only)
Pharmacokinetic data
Protein binding 75-95%
Biological half-life 2-6 hours (dose: 0.5-1 g)
Excretion renal (77-88%)
CAS Number
PubChem CID
ECHA InfoCard 100.000.313
Chemical and physical data
Formula C13H19NO4S
Molar mass 285.36 g/mol
3D model (JSmol)

Probenecid, also sold under the brandname Probalan, is a medication that increases uric acid excretion in the urine. It is primarily used in treating gout and hyperuricemia.

Probenecid was developed as an alternative to caronamide[1] to competitively inhibit renal excretion of some drugs, thereby increasing their plasma concentration and prolonging their effects.

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Medical uses

Probenecid is primarily used to treat gout and hyperuricemia.

Probenecid is sometimes used to increase the concentration of some antibiotics and to protect the kidneys when given with cidofovir. Specifically, a small amount of evidence supports the use of intravenous cefazolin once rather than three times a day when it is combined with probenecid.[2]

It has also found use as a masking agent,[3] potentially helping athletes using performance-enhancing substances to avoid detection by drug tests.

Drug interactions

Some of the important clinical interactions of probenecid include those with captopril, indomethacin, ketoprofen, ketorolac, naproxen, cephalosporins, quinolones, penicillins, methotrexate, zidovudine, ganciclovir, lorazepam, and acyclovir. In all these interactions, the excretion of these drugs is reduced due to probenecid.


Probenecid probably has several pharmacological targets, including blocking pannexins.[4] Probenecid is also useful in the treatment of gout where the mechanism of action is believed to be focused on the kidney. Probenecid interferes with the kidneys' organic anion transporter (OAT), which reclaims uric acid from the urine and returns it to the plasma.[5] If probenecid (an organic acid) is present, the OAT binds preferentially to it (instead of to uric acid), preventing reabsorption of the uric acid. Hence, the urine retains more uric acid, lowering uric acid concentration in the plasma. (This is a good example of a medical usage for competition between substrates transported across cell membranes).


In the kidneys, probenecid is filtered at the glomerulus, secreted in the proximal tubule and reabsorbed in the distal tubule.


During World War II, probenecid was used to extend limited supplies of penicillin; this use exploited probenecid's interference with metabolism in the kidneys and allowed lower doses to be used.[6]

See also


  1. ^ MASON RM (June 1954). "Studies on the Effect of Probenecid ('Benemid') in Gout". Ann. Rheum. Dis. 13 (2): 120–30. doi:10.1136/ard.13.2.120. PMC 1030399Freely accessible. PMID 13171805. 
  2. ^ Cox, VC; Zed, PJ (March 2004). "Once-daily cefazolin and probenecid for skin and soft tissue infections". The Annals of pharmacotherapy. 38 (3): 458–63. doi:10.1345/aph.1d251. PMID 14970368. 
  3. ^ Morra V, Davit P, Capra P, Vincenti M, Di Stilo A, Botrè F (December 2006). "Fast gas chromatographic/mass spectrometric determination of diuretics and masking agents in human urine: Development and validation of a productive screening protocol for antidoping analysis". J Chromatogr A. 1135 (2): 219–29. doi:10.1016/j.chroma.2006.09.034. PMID 17027009. 
  4. ^ Silverman W, Locovei S, Dahl G (September 2008). "Probenecid, a gout remedy, inhibits pannexin 1 channels". Am. J. Physiol., Cell Physiol. 295 (3): C761–7. doi:10.1152/ajpcell.00227.2008. PMC 2544448Freely accessible. PMID 18596212. 
  5. ^ Hsyu PH, Gisclon LG, Hui AC, Giacomini KM (January 1988). "Interactions of organic anions with the organic cation transporter in renal BBMV". Am. J. Physiol. 254 (1 Pt 2): F56–61. PMID 2962517. 
  6. ^ Butler D (2005). "Wartime tactic doubles power of scarce bird-flu drug". Nature. 438 (7064): 6. doi:10.1038/438006a. PMID 16267514. 
This page was last edited on 23 September 2017, at 18:17.
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