The present study was designed to determine the effect of venlafaxine on imipramine metabolism in an attempt to elucidate the potential for cytochrome P450 drug-drug interactions with venlafaxine. We examined the metabolism of a single 100-mg dose of imipramine before and after treatment with venlafaxine, 50 mg three times a day. Eight male subjects were phenotyped for CYP2D6 activity. Two subjects were poor metabolizers of dextromethophan, and data from the remaining six subjects (mean age=45.3+/-15) were analyzed. Venlafaxine increased imipramine C(max) and elevated AUC by 40%. Desipramine clearance and volume of distribution were reduced by 20% and 25%, respectively. These findings are consistent with a statistically significant, but clinically modest impact of venlafaxine on CYP2D6-metabolized substrates.