Pharmacokinetics and tissue distribution of olanzapine in rats

Biopharm Drug Dispos. 1999 Nov;20(8):369-77. doi: 10.1002/1099-081x(199911)20:8<369::aid-bdd200>;2-6.


The single dose pharmacokinetics of olanzapine in rats, following an oral dose and its distribution in the brain and other tissues after repeated oral and intra-peritoneal (i.p.) administration, were studied. Olanzapine in plasma, brain, liver, lung, kidney, spleen and fat was assayed at predose, 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 12, 24, 36, 48 h postoral dose of 6 mg/kg and after daily oral and i.p. doses of 0.25, 1, 3, and 6 mg/kg/day of olanzapine for 15 consecutive days by a sensitive and specific HPLC method with electrochemical detection. Olanzapine was readily absorbed and distributed in plasma and tissues as the peak concentrations were reached within approximately 45 min after the oral dose. The terminal half-life of olanzapine in plasma was 2.5 h and in tissues it ranged from 3 to 5.2 h. The area under the concentration-time curve (AUC(last)) was lowest in plasma and largest in liver and lung. The AUC(last) of olanzapine was eight times larger in brain and three to 32 times larger in other tissues than that in plasma. After repeated oral doses, the plasma and tissue concentrations of olanzapine were generally higher than those after repeated i.p. doses. The liver and spleen had the highest concentrations after oral and i.p doses, respectively. In both cases, the tissue concentrations were four- to 46-fold higher than that in plasma and correlated with administered doses. Likewise, plasma concentrations strongly correlated with the simultaneous brain and tissue concentrations (r(2)>0.908, p<0.0001). On average, the brain levels were 6.3-13.1 and 5.4-17.6 times higher than the corresponding plasma level after oral and i.p. doses, respectively. The tissue to plasma level ratio of olanzapine was higher in other tissues. The data indicated that olanzapine is rapidly absorbed and widely distributed in the tissues of rats after oral and i.p. administration. The plasma concentration appears to predict the simultaneous concentration in brain and other tissues. There was no marked localized accumulation of olanzapine in any of the regions of the rat brain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Antipsychotic Agents / pharmacokinetics*
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Half-Life
  • Injections, Intraperitoneal
  • Male
  • Olanzapine
  • Pirenzepine / administration & dosage
  • Pirenzepine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Pirenzepine / pharmacokinetics
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Pirenzepine
  • Olanzapine