Clinical pharmacokinetics of mibefradil

Clin Pharmacokinet. 1998 Dec;35(6):405-23. doi: 10.2165/00003088-199835060-00001.


Mibefradil, a tetralol derivative, is a new long-acting calcium antagonist used for the treatment of patients with hypertension and chronic stable angina pectoris. The drug is virtually completely metabolised, with less than 3% of an oral dose excreted unchanged in urine. Its metabolism occurs via parallel pathways, which fall into 2 broad categories: esterase-catalysed hydrolysis (producing the major plasma metabolite) and cytochrome P450 (CYP) 3A4-mediated oxidation. Plasma protein binding is greater than 99.5%, predominantly to alpha 1-acid glycoprotein. Oral multiple dose administration of mibefradil 50 or 100 mg once daily is associated with inhibition of the CYP3A4 pathway of metabolism, increasing the half-life and bioavailability of the parent compound. The intensity of the inhibition of CYP similarly results in numerous clinically relevant drug interactions which ultimately motivated the voluntary withdrawal of mibefradil from the market. With multiple oral doses of 50 to 100 mg once daily, the time to maximum plasma concentration was approximately 2.4 hours, absolute bioavailability was around 80%, clearance was 5.7 to 7.5 L/h, oral terminal exponential volume of distribution was 180 L, and terminal exponential half-life was 22 hours (ranging between 17 and 25 hours). A NONMEM sparse data analysis indicated that apparent clearance is not affected by race, gender, age or bodyweight. Renal function does not affect the pharmacokinetics of mibefradil.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Benzimidazoles / pharmacokinetics*
  • Benzimidazoles / therapeutic use
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / pharmacokinetics*
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / therapeutic use
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / metabolism
  • Drug Interactions
  • Food-Drug Interactions
  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases / metabolism
  • Liver Diseases / metabolism
  • Mibefradil
  • Tetrahydronaphthalenes / pharmacokinetics*
  • Tetrahydronaphthalenes / therapeutic use


  • Benzimidazoles
  • Calcium Channel Blockers
  • Tetrahydronaphthalenes
  • Mibefradil