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Clinical Trial
, 12 (3), 153-9

Nefopam Enantiomers: Preclinical Pharmacology/Toxicology and Pharmacokinetic Characteristics in Healthy Subjects After Intravenous Administration

Affiliations
Clinical Trial

Nefopam Enantiomers: Preclinical Pharmacology/Toxicology and Pharmacokinetic Characteristics in Healthy Subjects After Intravenous Administration

G G Mather et al. Chirality.

Abstract

Nefopam (NEF) is a potent analgesic compound administered as a racemic mixture. Previous in vitro and in vivo studies with nefopam enantiomers have shown that (+)nefopam [(+)NEF] is substantially more potent than (-)nefopam [(-)NEF]. Differences between enantiomers have also been suggested in metabolic studies in vitro. The impact of these differences in vivo is not known because there is little or no information on the relative plasma concentrations of the enantiomers or on their kinetics. In this study, individual enantiomers of nefopam were synthesized and examined for acute toxicity in male and female rats and mice. Pharmacologic properties of enantiomers were examined using in vitro binding assays and antinociceptive tests in rats and mice. Additionally, a pharmacokinetic study was conducted in human volunteers. Subjects were administered 20 mg nefopam as Acupan(R) either as a 5- or 20-min intravenous infusion. In a control phase, subjects were administered only vehicle. Blood samples were collected through the following 24 h. Plasma samples were analyzed for individual enantiomers using a chiral assay developed for this purpose. The pharmacologic differences of previous studies were confirmed in receptor binding assays and in the hot plate and the formalin tests in mice. Neither enantiomer demonstrated substantial activity in the tail flick test in rats. No significant differences were revealed between LD(50) values of nefopam enantiomers after oral or intravenous administration in male and female rats or mice. There were no significant differences in AUC(0-infinity), C(max), or half-life between enantiomers following intravenous administration. Based on these findings, there is currently no compelling rationale to justify administering or monitoring individual enantiomers.

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