What is Aminopyrine?

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  • Written By: Kimberly Sharpe
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 11 October 2019
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Once used as an antipyretic and analgesic, aminopyrine was prescribed in the treatment of the common cold, neuritis and rheumatism, and as a fever reducer. The drug works as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent. Use of aminopyrine has been strongly discouraged because of its ability to cause leukopenia, also known as agranulocytosis or granulopenia. Leukopenia causes a dramatic decrease in white blood cells to occur, which increases the risk of serious infections.

The 13C-labeled aminopyrine is an ingredient in a non-invasive breath test used to measure cytochromes P-450 metabolic activity, which helps evaluate the liver's function. The drug is administered orally and the concentration of the drug in the breath's output is measured approximately two hours later. The amount of the drug in the breath helps to determine if the person suffers from liver disease or liver damage.

The drug has the ability to be almost totally absorbed by the body's gastrointestinal tract when administered orally, which makes it useful in liver function testing. Once absorbed, it is rapidly processed and metabolized through the liver. Measuring the saliva of the body approximately 18 hours after the medication has been administered helps to determine if the liver has successfully processed and metabolized the drug. This gives an idea of the liver's overall rate of function and its ability to successfully metabolize.


The liver function test can be successfully repeated within a week if further testing is required. Liver function tests using aminopyrine are highly successful at determining hepatic enzyme functions in people who may have been exposed to solvents. The drug's strong antipyretic and analgesic characteristics have led to its use in some areas of the world in the treatment of acute leukemia. It is used as a compound formula.

As an antipyretic, or fever reducer, it affects the body's hypothalamus. The drug causes the body’s natural interleukin-induced increase to be overridden, which helps the body to lower its elevated temperature. The medication also reduces prostaglandin synthesis within the hypothalamus. This is achieved by preventing the prostaglandin’s natural effect on the hypothalamus and its heat-regulating sensors.

The drug aminopyrine is also used to measure the lactation of dairy cows and determine normal output by determining the drug's rate of absorption and the body's water. The drug is administered intravenously. The cow's blood, urine and milk are tested over a 24-hour period to determine the rate of the drug's absorption.


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