Send to

Choose Destination
Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2003 Sep;59(5-6):401-6. Epub 2003 Jul 25.

Effect of ketoconazole on venlafaxine plasma concentrations in extensive and poor metabolisers of debrisoquine.

Author information

Department of Laboratory Medicine, Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Karolinska Institutet at Huddinge University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.



To study the influence of CYP3A4 inhibition by ketoconazole on the disposition of venlafaxine in individuals with different CYP2D6 pheno- and genotypes.


In an open two-phase study, 21 healthy volunteers with known CYP2D6 pheno- and genotype [14 extensive metabolisers (EMs), 7 poor metabolisers (PMs)] were given a single oral dose of venlafaxine (50 mg to EMs and 25 mg to PMs). Plasma and urine levels of venlafaxine and its three metabolites were measured and the pharmacokinetics of venlafaxine were determined. After a 2-week washout period, subjects were treated for 2 days with ketoconazole (100 mg twice daily) starting 1 day before the administration of venlafaxine; and the same parameters as for the administration of venlafaxine only were measured.


Data were evaluated from 20 subjects (14 EMs and 6 PMs) who completed the study. The dose-corrected AUC of venlafaxine was on average 2.3 times higher ( P<0.01) and that of its active metabolite O-desmethylvenlafaxine 3.4 times lower ( P<0.0001) in PMs than EMs. There was a good correlation between the debrisoquine metabolic ratio and the ratio between the AUC of venlafaxine and that of O-desmethylvenlafaxine ( Rs=0.93, P<0.002). The majority of subjects showed higher plasma levels of venlafaxine and O-desmethylvenlafaxine upon co-administration of ketoconazole. AUC of venlafaxine significantly increased by 36% and that of O-desmethylvenlafaxine by 26% ( P<0.01). C(max) values increased by 32% and 18%, respectively. The elimination half-life of venlafaxine was unaltered. Three of the PMs displayed marked increases in AUC (81, 126 and 206%) and C(max) (60, 72, 119%) of venlafaxine while the other three showed small or no changes.


Ketoconazole consistently affected the disposition of venlafaxine in EMs of debrisoquine while the response in PMs was erratic. The precise mechanisms underlying this interaction remain to be elucidated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center