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Absolute bioavailability and stereoselective pharmacokinetics of doxepin.

Author(s): Yan JH, Hubbard JW, McKay G, Korchinski ED, Midha KK

Affiliation(s): College of Pharmacy & Nutrition, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada S7N 5C9.

Publication date & source: 2002-07, Xenobiotica., 32(7):615-23.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial

1. Commercial doxepin contains geometric isomers in the proportions Z:E = 15:85. Z-doxepin and its metabolite Z-N-desmethyldoxepin are both active antidepressants, whereas the corresponding E-isomers are less active therapeutically. 2. The present pharmacokinetic study was a balanced, randomized, two-treatment, two-period, two-sequence crossover design in which 12 healthy male volunteers were given single doses of commercial doxepin intravenously and orally on two occasions separated by a washout period. 3. A two-compartment model with no lag time and first-order elimination fitted the plasma concentration-time curves after intravenous dosing. Pharmacokinetic parameters estimated from the model were comparable with those estimated by non-compartmental methods. 4. All pharmacokinetic parameters displayed a wide between-subject variability. Both isomers of doxepin showed large volumes of distribution and relatively short half-lives in plasma, suggestive of extensive distribution and/or tissue binding. The mean fraction absorbed after oral administration was 0.29 for each isomer. Renal clearances of each isomer were very low after either oral or intravenous dosing, although all four analytes were quantifiable in the urine for prolonged periods. 5. After oral dosing, plasma concentrations of the doxepin isomers remained roughly in the ratio Z:E = 15:85, whereas those of N-desmethyldoxepin were closer to 1:1 in all but two outliers, who had high levels E-N-desmethyldoxepin.

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