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A stereospecific high-performance liquid chromatographic (HPLC) method was developed for the quantitation of the enantiomers of venlafaxine, an antidepressant, in dog, rat, and human plasma. The procedure involves derivatization of venlafaxine with the chiral reagent, (+)-S-naproxen chloride, and a postderivatization procedure. The method was linear in the range of 50 to 5,000 ng of each enantiomer per ml of plasma. No interference by endogenous substances or known metabolites of venlafaxine occurred. Studies to characterize the disposition of the enantiomers of venlafaxine were conducted in dog, rat, and human, following oral administration of venlafaxine. The Cmax, area under the curve (AUC) and (S)/(R) concentration ratios of the (R)- and (S)-enantiomers were compared. In rats, the mean plasma ratio of (S)-venlafaxine to that of (R)-venlafaxine over 0.5 to 6.0 h varied from 2.97 to 8.50 with a mean value of 5.51 +/- 2.45. The Cmax, AUC0-infinity, and t 1/2 values of the (R)- and (S)-enantiomers in dogs were not significantly different from one another (P greater than 0.1). The mean ratios [(S)/(R)] of enantiomers of venlafaxine in human over a 2 to 6 h interval ranged from 1.33 to 1.35 with an overall ratio of 1.34 +/- 0.26 (n = 12). These ratios of the enantiomers [(S)/(R)] were not statistically different from unity (P greater than 0.1) indicating that the disposition of venlafaxine enantiomers in humans is not stereoselective and is more similar to that in dogs than that in rats.


C P Wang, S R Howell, J Scatina, S F Sisenwine. The disposition of venlafaxine enantiomers in dogs, rats, and humans receiving venlafaxine. Chirality. 1992;4(2):84-90

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PMID: 1616828

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