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J Clin Psychopharmacol. 1992 Jun;12(3):169-74.

Haloperidol metabolism in psychiatric patients: importance of glucuronidation and carbonyl reduction.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Shiga University of Medical Science, Otsu, Japan.


In 39 patients who received haloperidol regularly we measured plasma concentrations of haloperidol glucuronide (HAL-GL), reduced haloperidol glucuronide (RHAL-GL), haloperidol (HAL), reduced haloperidol (RHAL), and HAL reductase activity in red blood cells. Plasma HAL-GL concentrations were significantly higher than HAL, RHAL, or RHAL-GL concentrations. Concentration ratios of total glucuronide to nonglucuronide and RHAL/HAL ratios were calculated as indices of glucuronidation and reduction capacity in each patient. The plasma glucuronidation ratios showed a significant negative correlation (r = -0.63, p less than 0.001) with the dose, while the reduction ratios showed a positive correlation (r = 0.75, p less than 0.001). No correlations were found between the HAL reductase activity in red blood cells and either the dose or RHAL/HAL. Based on these findings we suggest that glucuronidation of HAL is the major metabolic pathway of HAL in humans and its activity is important in determining steady-state plasma HAL concentrations. Glucuronidation may also be a major contributing factor in the interindividual variability of HAL metabolism.

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