Prescription Drug Information: Clobazam (Page 5 of 7)


Clobazam is rapidly and extensively absorbed following oral administration. The time to peak concentrations (Tmax ) of clobazam tablets under fasted conditions ranged from 0.5 to 4 hours after single- or multiple-dose administrations. The relative bioavailability of clobazam tablets compared to an oral solution is approximately 100%. After single dose administration of the oral suspension under fasted conditions, the Tmax ranged from 0.5 to 2 hours. Based on exposure (Cmax and AUC) of clobazam, clobazam tablets and suspension were shown to have similar bioavailability under fasted conditions. The administration of clobazam tablets with food or when crushed in applesauce does not affect absorption. Although not studied, the oral bioavailability of the oral suspension is unlikely to be affected under fed conditions.


Clobazam is lipophilic and distributes rapidly throughout the body. The apparent volume of distribution at steady state was approximately 100 L. The in vitro plasma protein binding of clobazam and N-desmethylclobazam is approximately 80 to 90% and 70%, respectively.

Metabolism and Excretion

Clobazam is extensively metabolized in the liver, with approximately 2% of the dose recovered in urine and 1% in feces as unchanged drug. The major metabolic pathway of clobazam involves N-demethylation, primarily by CYP3A4 and to a lesser extent by CYP2C19 and CYP2B6. N-desmethylclobazam, an active metabolite, is the major circulating metabolite in humans, and at therapeutic doses, plasma concentrations are 3 to 5 times higher than those of the parent compound. Based on animal and in vitro receptor binding data, estimates of the relative potency of N-desmethylclobazam compared to parent compound range from 1/5 to equal potency. N-desmethylclobazam is extensively metabolized, mainly by CYP2C19. N-desmethylclobazam and its metabolites comprise ~94% of the total drug-related components in urine. Following a single oral dose of radiolabeled drug, approximately 11% of the dose was excreted in the feces and approximately 82% was excreted in the urine.

The polymorphic CYP2C19 is the major contributor to the metabolism of the pharmacologically active N desmethylclobazam [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.5)]. In CYP2C19 poor metabolizers, levels of N-desmethylclobazam were 5-fold higher in plasma and 2- to 3-fold higher in the urine than in CYP2C19 extensive metabolizers.

Pharmacokinetics in Specific Populations


Population pharmacokinetic analyses showed that the clearance of clobazam is lower in elderly subjects compared to other age groups (ages 2 to 64). Dosing should be adjusted in the elderly [see Dosage and Administration (2.4)].


Population pharmacokinetic analyses showed no difference in the clearance of clobazam between women and men.


Population pharmacokinetic analyses including Caucasian (75%), African American (15%), and Asian (9%) subjects showed that there is no evidence of clinically significant effect of race on the clearance of clobazam.

Renal Impairment:

The effect of renal impairment on the pharmacokinetics of clobazam was evaluated in patients with mild (creatinine clearance [CLCR ] >50 to 80 mL/min; N=6) and moderate (CLCR =30 to 50 mL/min; N=6) renal dysfunction, with matching healthy controls (N=6), following administration of multiple doses of clobazam 20 mg/day. There were insignificant changes in Cmax (3 to 24%) and AUC (≤13%) for clobazam or N-desmethylclobazam in patients with mild or moderate renal impairment compared to patients with normal renal function. Patients with severe renal impairment or ESRD were not included in this study.

Hepatic Impairment:

There are limited data to characterize the effect of hepatic impairment on the pharmacokinetics of clobazam. In a small study, the pharmacokinetics of a 20 mg single oral dose of clobazam in 9 patients with liver impairment were compared to healthy controls (N=6). The Cmax and the mean plasma clearance of clobazam, as well as the Cmax of N-desmethylclobazam, showed no significant change compared to the healthy controls. The AUC values of N-desmethylclobazam in these patients were not available. Adjust dosage in patients with hepatic impairment [see Dosage and Administration (2.7)].

Drug Interaction Studies

In vitro studies :

Clobazam did not inhibit CYP1A2, CYP2C8, CYP2C9, CYP2C19, CYP2D6, CYP3A4, UGT1A1, UGT1A4, UGT1A6, or UGT2B4 in vitro. N-desmethylclobazam showed weak inhibition of CYP2C9, UGT1A4, UGT1A6 and UGT2B4.

Clobazam and N-desmethylclobazam did not significantly increase CYP1A2 or CYP2C19 activities, but did induce CYP3A4 activity in a concentration-dependent manner. Clobazam and N-desmethylclobazam also increased UGT1A1 mRNA but at concentrations much higher than therapeutic levels. The potential for clobazam or N-desmethylclobazam to induce CYP2B6 and CYP2C8 has not been evaluated.

Clobazam and N-desmethylclobazam do not inhibit P-glycoprotein (P-gp), but are P-gp substrates.

In vivo studies :

Potential for clobazam to Affect Other Drugs

The effect of repeated 40 mg once-daily doses of clobazam on the pharmacokinetic profiles of single-dose dextromethorphan (CYP2D6 substrate), midazolam (CYP3A4 substrate), caffeine (CYP1A2 substrate), and tolbutamide (CYP2C9 substrate), was studied when these probe substrates were given as a drug cocktail (N=18).

Clobazam increased AUC and Cmax of dextromethorphan by 90% and 59%, respectively, reflecting its inhibition of CYP2D6 in vivo. Drugs metabolized by CYP2D6 may require dose adjustment when used with clobazam.

Clobazam decreased the AUC and Cmax of midazolam by 27% and 24%, respectively, and increased the AUC and Cmax of the metabolite 1-hydroxymidazolam by 4-fold and 2-fold, respectively. This level of induction does not call for dosage adjustment of drugs that are primarily metabolized by CYP3A4 when used concomitantly with clobazam. Some hormonal contraceptives are metabolized by CYP3A4 and their effectiveness may be diminished when given with clobazam [see Drug Interactions (7.3)]. Repeated clobazam doses had no effect on caffeine and tolbutamide.

A population pharmacokinetic analysis indicated clobazam did not affect the exposure of valproic acid (a CYP2C9/2C19 substrate) or lamotrigine (a UGT substrate).

Potential for Other Drugs to Affect Clobazam

Co-administration of ketoconazole (a strong CYP3A4 inhibitor) 400 mg once-daily for 5 days increased clobazam AUC by 54%, with an insignificant effect on clobazam Cmax. There was no significant change in AUC and Cmax of N-desmethylclobazam (N=18).

Strong (e.g., fluconazole, fluvoxamine, ticlopidine) and moderate (e.g., omeprazole) inhibitors of CYP2C19 may result in up to a 5-fold increase in exposure to N-desmethylclobazam, the active metabolite of clobazam, based on extrapolation from pharmacogenomic data [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.5)]. Dosage adjustment of clobazam may be necessary when co-administered with strong or moderate CYP2C19 inhibitors [see Drug Interactions (7.4)].

The effects of concomitant antiepileptic drugs that are CYP3A4 inducers (phenobarbital, phenytoin, and carbamazepine), CYP2C19 inducers (valproic acid, phenobarbital, phenytoin, and carbamazepine), and CYP2C19 inhibitors (felbamate and oxcarbazepine) were evaluated using data from clinical trials. Results of population pharmacokinetic analysis show that these concomitant antiepileptic drugs did not significantly alter the pharmacokinetics of clobazam or N-desmethylclobazam at steady-state.

Alcohol has been reported to increase the maximum plasma exposure of clobazam by approximately 50%. Alcohol may have additive CNS depressant effects when taken with clobazam [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2), Drug Interactions (7.2)].

12.5 Pharmacogenomics

Dronedarone induces a moderate (average of about 10 ms but much greater effects have been observed) QTc (Bazett) prolongation [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY (12.2), CLINICAL STUDIES (14.1)]. If the QTc Bazett interval is ≥500 ms, discontinue dronedarone [see CONTRAINDICATIONS (4)] .


13.1 Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility


In mice, oral administration of clobazam (0, 6, 12, or 24 mg/kg/day) for 2 years did not result in an increase in tumors. The highest dose tested was approximately 3 times the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) of 40 mg/day, based on body surface area (mg/m2).

In rats, oral administration of clobazam for 2 years resulted in increases in tumors of the thyroid gland (follicular cell adenoma and carcinoma) and liver (hepatocellular adenoma) at the mid and high doses. The low dose, not associated with an increase in tumors, was associated with plasma exposures (AUC) for clobazam and its major active metabolite, N-desmethylclobazam, less than that in humans at the MRHD.


Clobazam and the major active metabolite, N-desmethylclobazam, were negative for genotoxicity, based on data from a battery of in vitro (bacteria reverse mutation, mammalian clastogenicity) and in vivo (mouse micronucleus) assays.

Impairment of Fertility

In a fertility study in which clobazam (50, 350, or 750 mg/kg/day, corresponding to 12, 84 and 181 times the oral Maximum Recommended Human Dose, MRHD, of 40 mg/day based on mg/m2 body surface) was orally administered to male and female rats prior to and during mating and continuing in females to gestation day 6, increases in abnormal sperm and pre-implantation loss were observed at the highest dose tested. The no-effect level for fertility and early embryonic development in rats was associated with plasma exposures (AUC) for clobazam and its major active metabolite, N-desmethylclobazam, less than those in humans at the maximum recommended human dose of 40 mg/day.


The effectiveness of clobazam for the adjunctive treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome was established in two multicenter controlled studies (Study 1 and Study 2). Both studies were similar in terms of disease characteristics and concomitant AED treatments. The most common concomitant AED treatments at baseline included: valproate, lamotrigine, levetiracetam, and topiramate.

Study 1

Study 1 (N=238) was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study consisting of a 4-week baseline period followed by a 3-week titration period and 12-week maintenance period. Patients age 2 to 54 years with a current or prior diagnosis of LGS were stratified into 2 weight groups (12.5 kg to ≤30 kg or >30 kg) and then randomized to placebo or one of three target maintenance doses of clobazam according to Table 5.

Table 5. Study 1 Total Daily Dose
≤30 kg Body Weight >30 kg Body Weight
Low Dose 5 mg daily 10 mg daily
Medium Dose 10 mg daily 20 mg daily
High Dose 20 mg daily 40 mg daily

Doses above 5 mg/day were administered in two divided doses.

The primary efficacy measure was the percent reduction in the weekly frequency of drop seizures (atonic, tonic, or myoclonic), also known as drop attacks, from the 4-week baseline period to 12-week maintenance period.

The pre-dosing baseline mean weekly drop seizure frequency was 98, 100, 61, and 105 for the placebo, low-, medium-, and high-dose groups, respectively. Figure 1 presents the mean percent reduction in weekly drop seizures from this baseline. All dose groups of clobazam were statistically superior (p≤0.05) to the placebo group. This effect appeared to be dose dependent.

Figure 1. Mean Percent Reduction from Baseline in Weekly Drop Seizure Frequency (Study 1)

(click image for full-size original)

Figure 2 shows changes from baseline in weekly drop seizure frequency by category for patients treated with clobazam and placebo in Study 1. Patients in whom the seizure frequency increased are shown at left as “worse.” Patients in whom the seizure frequency decreased are shown in five categories.

Figure 2. Drop Seizure Response by Category for Clobazam and Placebo (Study 1)

(click image for full-size original)

There was no evidence that tolerance to the therapeutic effect of clobazam developed during the 3-month maintenance period.

Study 2

Study 2 (N=68) was a randomized, double-blind comparison study of high- and low-dose clobazam, consisting of a 4-week baseline period followed by a 3-week titration period and 4-week maintenance period. Patients age 2 to 25 years with a current or prior diagnosis of LGS were stratified by weight, then randomized to either a low or high dose of clobazam, and then entered a 3-week titration period.

The primary efficacy measure was the percent reduction in the weekly frequency of drop seizures (atonic, tonic, or myoclonic), also known as drop attacks, from the 4-week baseline period to the 4-week maintenance period.

A statistically significantly greater reduction in seizure frequency was observed in the high-dose group compared to the low-dose group (median percent reduction of 93% vs 29%; p<0.05). provides trustworthy package insert and label information about marketed prescription drugs as submitted by manufacturers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Package information is not reviewed or updated separately by Every individual prescription drug label and package insert entry contains a unique identifier which can be used to secure further details directly from the U.S. National Institutes of Health and/or the FDA.

Medication Sections

Medication Information by RSS

As a leading independent provider of trustworthy medication information, we source our database directly from the FDA's central repository of drug labels and package inserts under the Structured Product Labeling standard. provides the full prescription-only subset of the FDA's repository. Medication information provided here is not intended as a substitute for direct consultation with a qualified health professional.

Terms of Use | Copyright © 2021. All Rights Reserved.