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, 8 (3-4), 249-54

Pharmacokinetics and Side-Effects of Clonazepam and Its 7-amino-metabolite in Man

Pharmacokinetics and Side-Effects of Clonazepam and Its 7-amino-metabolite in Man

O Sjö et al. Eur J Clin Pharmacol.


Clonazepam (CNP) and its principal metabolite in plasma, 7-amino-CNP (ACNP), have been investigated in a prospective study of 27 newly diagnosed epileptics and correlated with specified side-effects. At a daily dose of 6 mg, the average plasma levels of both substances were about 50ng/ml, and individual values ranged from 30 to about 80 ng/ml. There was a linear correlation between changes in dose and the resulting plasma levels, which indicates first order elimination kinetics. Side-effects were frequent, but neither their severity nor their occurrence could be related to plasma levels or to the rate of increase in plasma concentration of the drug. Three out of five patients who developed serious dysphoria had significantly high CNP levels. The concentration of ACNP was considerably increased in four patients who subsequently suffered from withdrawal symptoms. Drug interaction with diphenylhydantoin, i.e. decreased CNP level, was observed in all five patients who received both compounds. In general it is not yet possible to define an upper limit for the plasma levels of CNP and ACNP at which toxicity occurs. In patients treated with conventional doses of CNP, measurement of plasma concentration is not required, except in special circumstances, because of the lack of correlation between plasma level and side-effects.

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