Disposition and metabolism of ralfinamide, a novel Na-channel blocker, in healthy male volunteers

Pharmacology. 2010;86(5-6):297-305. doi: 10.1159/000321322. Epub 2010 Nov 11.


Ralfinamide is an α-aminoamide derivative with ion channel blocking properties, acting both peripherally and centrally through different molecular targets important in pain control. Absorption, blood and plasma time courses, and urinary and faecal excretion of total radioactivity were assessed in 6 male healthy volunteers administered a single oral dose of 320 mg ¹⁴C-(S)-ralfinamide. Pharmacokinetics of the parent drug were investigated over 120 h, urinary and plasma metabolites up to 192 h post-dose. ¹⁴C-(S)-ralfinamide was rapidly and completely absorbed. Ralfinamide and the dealkylated ralfinamide metabolite (NW-1716) represented the majority of plasma radioactivity. Plasma elimination of the parent compound occurred mono-exponentially (half-life approx. 15 h). ¹⁴C-radioactivity was eliminated in a bi-phasic manner (terminal half-life of 60 and 24 h for plasma and whole blood, respectively). Plasma-concentrations of unchanged ralfinamide were significantly lower than radioactivity concentrations, indicating metabolism of the parent compound. At 192 h post-dose the total balance of radioactivity was almost complete (95%). The main route of excretion was via the kidneys (94% of the dose). Major metabolites identified in urine and plasma were the N-dealkylated acid of ralfinamide and deaminated ralfinamide acid (NW-1799). Other metabolites, in particular the product of glucuronide conjugation N-dealkylated-β-glucuronide, were identified.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Fluorobenzenes / pharmacokinetics*
  • Half-Life
  • Humans
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Male
  • Sodium Channel Blockers / pharmacokinetics*
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult


  • Fluorobenzenes
  • Sodium Channel Blockers
  • Ralfinamide