Mode of action of the antifertility sulphonamides: Lack of effects on folate metabolism

C. Pholpramool, V. Verawatnapakul, S. Ruchirawat, L. M. Lewin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effects of some antifertility sulphonamides on folate metabolism were investigated in the male rat. Subcutaneous injections of sulphanilamide at a dose of 150 mg/kg/day for 6 weeks produced a marked reduction in fertility of the treated animals. This effect was rapidly recovered by one week after drug withdrawal. Similar treatments with trimethoprim (30 mg/kg/day) or pyrimethamine (8 mg/kg/day) had virtually no effect on fertility. The synergistic effect of trimethoprim or pyrimethamine on the antifertility activity of sulphanilamide was not observed when the drugs were administered in combinations. Treatment with sulphapyridine (450 mg/kg/day for 6 weeks) failed to alter the levels of folate in the blood and the reproductive organs except the testes in which accumulation of folic acid occurred. The results suggest that the antifertility activity of sulphanilamide, sulphapyridine and perhaps some other sulphonamides is not associated with the inhibition of folate metabolism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)667-675
Number of pages9
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1990


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