Plasma concentrations and pharmacokinetics of idebenone and its metabolites following single and repeated doses in young patients with mitochondrial encephalomyopathy

Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 1996;51(2):167-9. doi: 10.1007/s002280050179.


Objective: The pharmacokinetics and tolerance of idebenone after single or repeated doses have been studied in young patients with mitochondrial encephalomyopathy.

Results: No significant adverse effects were noted. In 3 out of 7 patients idebenone induced overall stimulation and improvement in arousal. Plasma concentrations of idebenone and its main metabolites were determined and the pharmacokinetic parameters of idebenone after single and repeated doses were estimated. During the single dose study, the mean plasma concentrations of idebenone and its main metabolites and mean pharmacokinetic parameters were comparable to published results (Cmax = 452.2, tmax = 2.3 h, AUC = 26 micrograms. ml-1.h, t1/2 beta = 16.5 h). During the repeated doses study, no significant difference was found between mean residual plasma concentrations of idebenone on Day 2 (47 and Day 5 (70.6, and mean t1/2 beta of idebenone after the single and after repeated dose studies, i.e., there was no evidence of accumulation. Although idebenone did not appear to accumulate during this study, the coadministration of anticonvulsants, often prescribed during mitochondrial encephalomyopathy, can affect its pharmacokinetics.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anticonvulsants / administration & dosage*
  • Benzoquinones / administration & dosage*
  • Benzoquinones / blood
  • Benzoquinones / pharmacokinetics*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mitochondrial Encephalomyopathies / drug therapy*
  • Mitochondrial Encephalomyopathies / metabolism
  • Phenobarbital / administration & dosage
  • Ubiquinone / administration & dosage


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Benzoquinones
  • Ubiquinone
  • idebenone
  • Phenobarbital