Background: Danyikangtai powder, a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) formula, shows
promise to become a novel drug candidate for the simultaneous treatment of chronic cholecystitis and
chronic pancreatitis. However, the pharmacokinetic behavior of Danyikangtai powder remains unclear.
Objective: We investigated the comparative pharmacokinetics of four flavonoids in rats after oral administration
of Danyikangtai powder and three compatibilities.
Materials and Methods: The comparative pharmacokinetics was studied by ultra-performance liquid
chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC–MS/MS). Chromatographic separation was performed
on a Universil XB-C18 column with a gradient mobile phase containing 0.1% (v/v) aqueous
formic acid and acetonitrile. All analytes and internal standard were quantitated in the multiple reaction
monitoring modes with a positive electrospray ionization interface.
Results and Discussion: Danyikangtai powder and Scutellariae radix have similar pharmacokinetic
behaviors in rats after oral administration. However, the elimination of four flavonoids in rats after oral
administration of Danyikangtai powder was accelerated, which was possibly related to the reduction of
the potential hepatotoxicity of Scutellariae radix. The varying degrees of change in pharmacokinetic
parameters after oral administration of different herb combinations suggested that herb–herb interactions
occurred in vivo.
Conclusion: This study will be helpful to reveal the safety, rational and mechanism of Danyikangtai
powder formula compatibility, thereby providing pre-clinical research data for its new drug development
and guidance for its rational clinical application.