European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 89–95 | Cite as

Pharmacokinetics of oral moclobemide in healthy human subjects and effects on MAO-activity in platelets and excretion of urine monoamine metabolites

  • F. -A. Wiesel
  • J. Raaflaub
  • R. Kettler


The plasma concentrations of the MAO-inhibitor moclobemide (Ro 11-1163) were determined in six healthy male subjects after oral (tablets) administration. Effects on MAO activity in platelets and excretion of monoamine metabolites in urine were investigated. The design of the study was a double-blind cross-over study with single oral doses of placebo, 50, 100 and 200 mg of moclobemide. The elimination profile of the drug showed that the half life of the unchanged drug ranged between 1 and 2 h except in one subject with a half-life of about 4 h. The mean bioavailability calculated using flow model concepts was F=0.43 after 50 mg, F=0.47 after 100 mg and F=0.59 after 200 mg. The outlier with a t1/2 of 4 h was found to have a bioavailability of more than 0.80 after all 3 doses. The slightly increasing bioavailability with higher doses was interpreted as evidence of saturable hepatic first-pass elimination of the drug. MAO activity in platelets was measured before and 2, 6 and 24 h after drug administration. No inhibition of platelet MAO was obtained at any point in time or dose level, as to be expected since moclobemide preferentially inhibits MAO A. Urine excretion of the monoamine metabolites homovanillic acid (HVA), dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC), 3-methoxy-4-hydroxy-phenylglycol (MOPEG) and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) was followed during 48 h after placebo, 50 and 200 mg of moclobemide. Time but not dose contributed significantly to the variability in excretion of the monoamine metabolites. An apparent reduction of HVA and DOPAC levels was obtained in the early phase after the administration of 200 mg of moclobemide. In 1 subject with a mild drug reaction a pronounced decrease in the levels of all the metabolites was obtained. In the other 5 subjects, the compound was very well tolerated with a few reported side-effects like increased activity, somnolence or sweatings. There was a slight but significant increase in blood pressure following 50 and 100 mg but not 200 mg of moclobemide.

Key words

moclobemide Ro 11-1163 pharmacokinetics bioavailability MAO activity in platelets monoamine metabolites in urine healthy volunteers 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. -A. Wiesel
    • 1
  • J. Raaflaub
    • 2
  • R. Kettler
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and PsychologyKarolinska HospitalStockholmSweden
  2. 2.Pharmaceutical Research DepartmentF. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.BasleSwitzerland

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