The mechanism of action of methocarbamol in humans has not been established, but may be due to general central nervous system (CNS) depression. It has no direct action on the contractile mechanism of striated muscle, the motor end plate or the nerve fiber.
In healthy volunteers, the plasma clearance of methocarbamol ranges between 0.20 and 0.80 L/h/kg, the mean plasma elimination half-life ranges between 1 and 2 hours, and the plasma protein binding ranges between 46% and 50%.
Methocarbamol is metabolized via dealkylation and hydroxylation. Conjugation of methocarbamol also is likely. Essentially all methocarbamol metabolites are eliminated in the urine. Small amounts of unchanged methocarbamol also are excreted in the urine.
The mean (± SD) elimination half-life of methocarbamol in elderly healthy volunteers (mean (± SD) age, 69 (± 4) years) was slightly prolonged compared to a younger (mean (± SD) age, 53.3 (± 8.8) years), healthy population (1.5 (±0.4) hours versus 1.1 (± 0.27) hours, respectively). The fraction of bound methocarbamol was slightly decreased in the elderly versus younger volunteers (41 to 43% versus 46 to 50%, respectively).
The clearance of methocarbamol in 8 renally-impaired patients on maintenance hemodialysis was reduced about 40% compared to 17 normal subjects, although the mean (± SD) elimination half-life in these two groups was similar: 1.2 (± 0.6) versus 1.1 (± 0.3) hours, respectively.
In 8 patients with cirrhosis secondary to alcohol abuse, the mean total clearance of methocarbamol was reduced approximately 70% compared to that obtained in 8 age- and weight-matched normal subjects. The mean (± SD) elimination half-life in the cirrhotic patients and the normal subjects was 3.38 (±1.62) hours and 1.11 (± 0.27) hours, respectively. The percent of methocarbamol bound to plasma proteins was decreased to approximately 40 to 45% compared to 46 to 50% in the normal subjects.