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Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1991 Jul;84(1):99-102.

Disposition of the neuroleptic zuclopenthixol cosegregates with the polymorphic hydroxylation of debrisoquine in humans.

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Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Karolinska Institute, Huddinge University Hospital, Sweden.


The pharmacokinetics of a single oral dose of the neuroleptic drug zuclopenthixol (10 or 6 mg) was studied in 6 extensive and 6 poor metabolizers of debrisoquine. The peak plasma concentrations of zuclopenthixol did not differ between the phenotypes, whereas the plasma elimination half-life was significantly longer in poor than in extensive metabolizers (29.9 +/- 6.6 vs 17.6 +/- 6.9 h). Accordingly, the total oral plasma clearance was lower in poor than in extensive metabolizers (0.78 +/- 0.27 vs 2.12 +/- 0.65 1/h/kg). Ten of the volunteers had previously participated in a similar study in which the kinetics of perphenazine, another neuroleptic drug, were studied in poor and in extensive metabolizers of debrisoquine. There was a significant correlation between the oral clearance of perphenazine and that of zuclopenthixol among these 10 subjects. The study indicates that the disposition of zuclopenthixol, as well as that of perphenazine, is related to the genetically determined capacity to hydroxylate debrisoquine. The significance of this polymorphism for the clinical use of neuroleptics is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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