Pharmacopsychiatry 1998; 31: 36-43
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-979344
Original Paper

© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Oral Bioavailability of Hyperforin from Hypericum Extracts in Rats and Human Volunteers

A. Biber1 , H. Fischer2 , A. Römer2 , S. S. Chatterjee1
  • 1Dr. W. Schwabe GmbH & Co., Karlsruhe, Germany
  • 2A & M Labor für Analytik und Metabolismusforschung GmbH, Bergheim, Germany
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
20 April 2007 (online)


Validated analytical methods suitable for determining hyperforin in plasma after administration of alcoholic Hypericum perforatum extracts containing hyperforin are described. After oral administration of 300 mg/kg Hypericum extract (WS 5572, containing 5 % hyperforin) to rats maximum plasma levels of approximately 370 ng/ml (approx. 690 nM) were reached after 3 h, as quantified by a HPLC and UV detection method. Estimated half-life and clearance values were 6 h and 70 ml/min/kg respectively. Since therapeutic doses of Hypericum extracts are much lower than that used in rats, a more sensitive LC/MS/MS method was developed. The lower limit of quantification of this method was 1 ng/ml. Using this method, plasma levels of hyperforin could be followed for up to 24 h in healthy volunteers after administration of film coated tablets containing 300 mg hypericum extracts representing 14.8 mg hyperforin. The maximum plasma levels of approximately 150 ng/ml (approx. 280 nM) were reached 3.5 h after administration. Half-life and mean residence time were 9 and 12 h respectively. Hyperforin pharmacokinetics were linear up to 600 mg of the extract. Increasing the doses to 900 or 1200 mg of extract resulted in lower Cmax and AUC values than those expected from linear extrapolation of data from lower doses. Plasma concentration curves in volunteers fitted well in an open two-compartment model. In a repeated dose study, no accumulation of hyperforin in plasma was observed. Using the observed AUC values from the repeated dose study, the estimated steady state plasma concentrations of hyperforin after 3 x 300 mg/day of the extract, i.e., after normal therapeutic dose regimen, was approximately 100 ng/ml (approx. 180 nM).