Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of tolterodine in man: a new drug for the treatment of urinary bladder overactivity

Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther. 1997 Jul;35(7):287-95.


The aim of this study was to determine the pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and safety of tolterodine following single oral and intravenous doses in healthy volunteers. A secondary aim was to identify major urinary metabolites and determine mass balance. Single oral doses of 0.2, 0.4, 0.8, 1.6, 3.2, 6.4, and 12.8 mg of tolterodine (as the tartrate salt) were given to 17 healthy male volunteers. Two intravenous doses (0.64 and 1.28 mg) were administered to 8 of the volunteers and mass balance was studied after a single oral dose of 5 mg (14C)-tolterodine in 6 subjects. Tolterodine was rapidly absorbed following oral administration (time to peak serum concentration 0.9 +/- 0.4 h). The absolute bioavailability was highly variable, ranging from 10 to 70%. The volume of distribution at steady-state ranged from 0.9 to 1.6 l/kg and systemic clearance ranged from 0.23 to 0.52 l/h/kg, which resulted in a terminal half-life of 2-3 h. Tolterodine exhibited high first-pass metabolism and 2 hepatic metabolic pathways were identified: oxidation and dealkylation. Independent of route of administration, < 1% of the parent compound was excreted unchanged in urine. Five metabolites were structurally identified in urine. Following oral administration of (14C)-tolterodine, the excretion of radioactivity into urine and feces was 77 +/- 4.0% and 17 +/- 3.5%, respectively. Tolterodine decreased stimulated salivation after 3.2 mg, increased heart rate after 6.4 mg, and nearpoint of vision after 12.8 mg. Six of 8 subjects reported micturition difficulties after a dose of 12.8 mg. The lack of a direct relationship between tolterodine serum concentrations and effects on stimulated salivation suggested the presence of pharmacologically active metabolite(s).

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Benzhydryl Compounds / adverse effects
  • Benzhydryl Compounds / pharmacokinetics*
  • Benzhydryl Compounds / therapeutic use
  • Cresols / adverse effects
  • Cresols / pharmacokinetics*
  • Cresols / therapeutic use
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscarinic Antagonists / adverse effects
  • Muscarinic Antagonists / pharmacokinetics*
  • Muscarinic Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Phenylpropanolamine*
  • Reference Values
  • Tolterodine Tartrate
  • Urinary Bladder Diseases / drug therapy*


  • Benzhydryl Compounds
  • Cresols
  • Muscarinic Antagonists
  • Phenylpropanolamine
  • Tolterodine Tartrate