Pharmacokinetics and metabolism of gabapentin in rat, dog and man

Arzneimittelforschung. 1986 May;36(5):830-9.


This paper describes the pharmacokinetic studies of 1-(aminomethyl)-cyclohexane acetic acid (gabapentin, Gö 3450, CI-945) conducted with the 14C-labelled substance following intravenous and intragastric administration to rats and dogs and oral administration to humans. Gabapentin is well absorbed in rats, dogs and in humans, with maximum blood levels, reached within 1-3 h after peroral administration. Following i.v. administration to rats, similar blood and brain levels of gabapentin are observed after a short distribution phase, whereby concentrations in cerebrum and cerebellum are comparable. The highest concentrations are found in the pancreas and kidneys and the lowest values in adipose tissue. No binding of gabapentin to human plasma proteins or human serum albumin is observed. The distribution coefficient (octanol/buffer pH 7.4) is 7.5 X 10(-2). In man, no biotransformation of gabapentin is observed. In rats, biotransformation is only minor. In dogs, however, a remarkable formation of N-methyl-gabapentin is found. Elimination half-lives range between 2-3 h in rats, 3-4 h in dogs, and 5-6 h in man. Gabapentin is nearly exclusively eliminated via the kidneys. Renal elimination was up to 99.8% in rats and approx. 80% in man following oral administration. The blood level-time course after i.v. administration to rats can well be described by a three-compartment open model. Experiments in rats and dogs demonstrate that pharmacokinetics are not sex-dependent and are not changed after multiple dosage. Pharmacokinetics are shown to be linear in the range tested of 4 to 500 mg/kg i.v. in rats.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Acetates / blood
  • Acetates / metabolism*
  • Adult
  • Amines*
  • Animals
  • Biotransformation
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Cyclohexanecarboxylic Acids*
  • Dogs
  • Erythrocytes / metabolism
  • Feces / analysis
  • Female
  • Gabapentin
  • Half-Life
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Male
  • Protein Binding
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Species Specificity
  • Tissue Distribution
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid*


  • Acetates
  • Amines
  • Cyclohexanecarboxylic Acids
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
  • Gabapentin