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Biopharm Drug Dispos. 1997 Jul;18(5):387-96.

Pharmacokinetics of the enantiomers of verapamil after intravenous and oral administration of racemic verapamil in a rat model.

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Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.


Verapamil is a chiral calcium channel blocking drug which is useful clinically as the racemate in treating hypertension and arrhythmia. The published pharmacokinetic data for verapamil enantiomers in the rat model are limited. Utilizing a stereospecific high-performance liquid chromatographic (HPLC) assay, the enantiomeric disposition of verapamil is reported after intravenous (1.0 mg kg-1) and oral (10 mg kg-1) administration of racemic verapamil to the rat model. After intravenous administration the systemic clearance of R-verapamil was significantly greater than that of S-verapamil; 34.9 +/- 7 against 23.7 +/- 3.7 mL min-1 kg-1 (mean +/- SD), respectively. After oral administration, the clearance of R-verapamil was significantly greater than that of S-verapamil, 889 +/- 294 against 351 +/- 109 mL min-1 kg-1, respectively. The apparent oral bioavailability of S-verapamil was greater than that of R-verapamil, 0.074 +/- 0.031 against 0.041 +/- 0.011, respectively. These data suggest that the disposition of verapamil in the rat is stereoselective; verapamil undergoes extensive stereoselective first-pass clearance after oral administration and the direction of stereoselectivity in plasma is opposite to that observed in the human.

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