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Taylor & Francis

Xenobiotica. 1988 May;18(5):519-32. doi: 10.3109/00498258809041689.

The pharmacokinetics and metabolism of idazoxan in the rat.

Xenobiotica; the fate of foreign compounds in biological systems

C J Lewis, M E Havler, M J Humphrey, J G Lloyd-Jones, M A McCleavy, N C Muir, K Waltham


  1. Department of Biochemistry, Reckitt and Colman, Hull.

PMID: 2899932 DOI: 10.3109/00498258809041689


1. [2'-14C]Idazoxan was rapidly and completely absorbed after its oral administration to rats. 2. After administration of either [2'-14C] or [6,7-3H]idazoxan, radioactivity was taken up by a wide range of tissues and became localized, especially in the organs of metabolism and excretion. Quantitative distribution patterns were route-dependent such that oral dosing resulted in lower radioactivity concentrations in all tissues apart from liver. 3. Clearance of idazoxan (94-144 ml/min per kg) was due mostly to metabolism and was independent of dose. Oral bioavailability in male rats at low oral doses of idazoxan (10 mg/kg) was about 1%, but increased with increasing dose to 23% at 100 mg/kg. Oral bioavailability in female rats was considerably higher than in male rats, at all doses studied. Brain idazoxan levels were in equilibrium with those in plasma, but ten-fold higher. 4. Elimination of radioactivity after administration of 14C-idazoxan was via the urine and the faeces (about 75% and 20% of dose respectively) and occurred essentially in the 24 h period immediately after dosing. By 96 h after dosing, elimination was virtually complete, with less than 0.5% dose remaining in the carcasses. 5. Biotransformation was by hydroxylation at positions 6 and 7 to form phenolic metabolites, which were excreted as glucuronide and sulphate metabolites in urine, but unconjugated in faeces. Other minor metabolic routes were 5-hydroxylation or oxidative degradation of the imidazoline ring, but these pathways were of quantitatively minor importance in the rat.

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