The physiological disposition of adriamycin and daunomycin has been studied in several animal species. Both drugs were rapidly cleared from plasma, deposited in tissues, and then excreted slowly. Drug and metabolites were excreted via the bile and urine. Daunomycin was extensively metabolized by mice, rats, dogs, and hamsters, whereas no evidence was obtained for the metabolism of adriamycin in rats and mice. Hamsters metabolized adriamycin to an aglycone. The metabolite of daunomycin in all species appeared identical to daunorubicinol, described by Bachur and Gee. In hamsters, daunorubicinol as well as another metabolite of daunomycin were observed. This unknown metabolite, Dx, appeared to be an aglycone but not the aglycone of daunomycin or daunorubicinol. The aglycone, Dx, was also observed in several tissues of rats and mice that were exposed to hypobaric stress.
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