The effect of gender on the pharmacokinetics of verapamil and norverapamil in human

Biopharm Drug Dispos. 2006 Oct;27(7):329-34. doi: 10.1002/bdd.512.


The effects of gender on the pharmacokinetics of verapamil and its active metabolite, norverapamil, following single oral dose (80 mg, Isoptin) to 12 healthy male (mean age: 25.75+/-2.42 years, mean body weight: 70.59+/-9.94 kg) and 12 healthy female subjects (mean age: 24.08+/-2.84 years, mean body weight: 56.67+/-5.23 kg) were investigated in the present study. Plasma concentrations of verapamil and norverapamil were analysed using a modified high-pressure liquid chromatography method. Pharmacokinetic parameters were calculated by non-compartmental analysis for each subject. For verapamil the half-life (t1/2) and mean residence time (MRT) were significantly shorter in women than men (p<0.01 and p<0.05, respectively). For other pharmacokinetic parameters of verapamil there were no significant differences between males and females. For norverapamil, t1/2, MRT and time to reach to the maximum plasma concentration (Tmax) showed statistically significant differences between the two genders. The AUC(0-24) and AUC(0-infinity) ratios of norverapamil to verapamil were also calculated. The ratios were significantly higher in women compared with men. These observations indicate that the elimination rate of verapamil is faster in women than men which may be attributed to the higher activity of CYP3A4 or lower activity of P-glycoprotein in women compared with men. A contribution of both factors in the appearance of gender differences in verapamil pharmacokinetics is also possible.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Area Under Curve
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / administration & dosage
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / blood
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / pharmacokinetics*
  • Female
  • Half-Life
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sex Characteristics*
  • Verapamil / administration & dosage
  • Verapamil / analogs & derivatives*
  • Verapamil / blood
  • Verapamil / pharmacokinetics*


  • Calcium Channel Blockers
  • norverapamil
  • Verapamil