European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 261–266 | Cite as

Effect of rifampicin treatment on the kinetics of mexiletine

  • P. J. Pentikäinen
  • I. H. Koivula
  • H. A. Hiltunen


To study the effects of enzyme induction on its pharmacokinetics, a single oral dose of the new antiarrhythmic agent mexiletine hydrochloride 400 mg was administered to 8 healthy volunteers before and after treatment with rifampicin 300 mg b.i.d. for ten days. The absorption and distribution of mexiletine were not changed after rifampicin, but its elimination half-life fell from 8.5±0.8 h (mean±SE) to 5.0±0.4 h (p<0.01), and its nonrenal clearance increased from 435±68 ml/min to 711±101 ml/min (p<0.01). The mean renal clearance of mexiletine did not change, but it showed an exponential correlation with urinary pH. The amount of unchanged mexiletine excreted in urine over two days decreased from 32±7 to 18±3 mg (p<0.01). The half-life of antipyrine fell from 11.8±0.4 to 5.5±0.3 h and its clearance increased from 40±3 ml to 74±3 ml/min (p<0.01). There was a significant (p<0.05) positive linear correlation between both the half-lives and the clearances of antipyrine and mexiletine. The clearances were positively correlated with serum γ-glutamyl transpeptidase. The results suggest that the dosage of mexiletine should be adjusted when enzyme inducing drugs are started or stopped during therapy with it.

Key words

mexiletine rifampicin kinetics enzyme induction excretion antipyrine clearance dosage adjustment 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. J. Pentikäinen
    • 1
  • I. H. Koivula
    • 1
  • H. A. Hiltunen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MedicineUniversity of KuopioKuopioFinland

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