May 26, 2017
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Flurazepam hydrochloride is rapidly absorbed from the GI tract. Flurazepam is rapidly metabolized and is excreted primarily in the urine. Following a single oral dose, peak flurazepam plasma concentrations ranging from 0.5 to 4.0 ng/mL occur at 30 to 60 minutes post-dosing. The harmonic mean apparent half-life of flurazepam is 2.3 hours. The blood level profile of flurazepam and its major metabolites was determined in man following the oral administration of 30 mg daily for 2 weeks. The N1-hydroxyethyl-flurazepam was measurable only during the early hours after a 30-mg dose and was not detectable after 24 hours. The major metabolite in blood was N1-desalkyl-flurazepam, which reached steady-state (plateau) levels after 7 to 10 days of dosing, at levels approximately 5- to 6-fold greater than the 24-hour levels observed on Day 1. The half-life of elimination of N1-desalkyl-flurazepam ranged from 47 to 100 hours. The major urinary metabolite is conjugated N1-hydroxyethyl- flurazepam which accounts for 22% to 55% of the dose. Less than 1% of the dose is excreted in the urine as N1-desalkyl-flurazepam.

This pharmacokinetic profile may be responsible for the clinical observation that flurazepam is increasingly effective on the second or third night of consecutive use and that for 1 or 2 nights after the drug is discontinued both sleep latency and total wake time may still be decreased.

Geriatric Pharmacokinetics: The single dose pharmacokinetics of flurazepam were studied in 12 healthy geriatric subjects (aged 61 to 85 years). The mean elimination half- life of desalkyl-flurazepam was longer in elderly male subjects (160 hours) compared with younger male subjects (74 hours), while mean elimination half-life was similar in geriatric female subjects (120 hours) and younger female subjects (90 hours). After multiple dosing, mean steady-state plasma levels of desalkyl-flurazepam were higher in elderly male subjects (81 ng/ml) compared with younger male subjects (53 ng/ml), while values were similar between elderly female subjects (85 ng/ml) and younger female subjects (86 ng/ml). The mean washout half-life of desalkyl-flurazepam was longer in elderly male and female subjects (126 and 158 hours, respectively) compared with younger male and female subjects (111 and 113 hours, respectively).1


1. Greenblatt DJ, Divoll M, Harmatz JS, MacLauglin DS, Shader RI: Kinetics and clinical effects of flurazepam in young and elderly noninsomniacs. Clin Pharmacol Ther 30:475-486, 1981.

Last reviewed on RxList: 4/19/2017
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

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