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Xenobiotica. 1990 May;20(5):471-80.

Biotransformation of medetomidine in the rat.

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  • 1Farmos Group Ltd, Research Center, Turku, Finland.


1. The metabolites of a novel alpha 2-adrenoceptor agonist, medetomidine, in rat urine after subcutaneous administration at two dose levels (80 micrograms/kg or 5 mg/kg), and after incubation with rat liver fractions, were characterized by h.p.l.c., 1H-n.m.r and mass spectrometry. 2. Hydroxylation of a methyl substituent was the main biotransformation in vitro. Hydroxylation occurred at a rate sufficient for high metabolic clearance. 3. The major urinary metabolites were the glucuronide of hydroxymedetomidine (about 35% of urinary metabolites) and medetomidine carboxylic acid (about 40%). 4. Medetomidine unchanged represented about 1% or 10% of the urinary excretion products, dependent on dose. 5. A metabolic pathway consisting of hydroxylation with subsequent glucuronidation, or further oxidation to carboxylic acid, is suggested.

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