Clobazam (Page 6 of 9)


10.1 Signs and Symptoms of Overdosage

Overdose and intoxication with benzodiazepines, including clobazam, may lead to CNS depression, associated with drowsiness, confusion and lethargy, possibly progressing to ataxia, respiratory depression, hypotension, and, rarely, coma or death. The risk of a fatal outcome is increased in cases of combined poisoning with other CNS depressants, including opioids and alcohol.

10.2 Management of Overdosage

The management of clobazam overdose may include gastric lavage and/or administration of activated charcoal, intravenous fluid replenishment, early control of airway and general supportive measures, in addition to monitoring level of consciousness and vital signs. Hypotension can be treated by replenishment with plasma substitutes and, if necessary, with sympathomimetic agents.

The efficacy of supplementary administration of physostigmine (a cholinergic agent) or of flumazenil (a benzodiazepine antagonist) in clobazam overdose has not been assessed. The administration of flumazenil in cases of benzodiazepine overdose can lead to withdrawal and adverse reactions. Its use in patients with epilepsy is typically not recommended.


Table 4. Description

(click image for full-size original)

Clobazam is a white or almost white, crystalline powder with a slightly bitter taste; is freely soluble in dichloromethane. The melting range of clobazam is from 178ºC to 185ºC. The molecular formula is C16 H13 O2 N2 Cl and the molecular weight is 300.7.

Each clobazam tablet contains 10 mg or 20 mg of clobazam. Tablets also contain as inactive ingredients: colloidal silicon dioxide, corn starch, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, and sodium starch glycolate.


12.1 Mechanism of Action

The exact mechanism of action for clobazam, a 1,5-benzodiazepine, is not fully understood but is thought to involve potentiation of GABAergic neurotransmission resulting from binding at the benzodiazepine site of the GABAA receptor.

12.2 Pharmacodynamics

Effects on Electrocardiogram

The effect of clobazam tablets 20 mg and 80 mg administered twice daily on QTc interval was evaluated in a randomized, evaluator-blinded, placebo-, and active-controlled (moxifloxacin 400 mg) parallel thorough QT study in 280 healthy subjects. In a study with demonstrated ability to detect small effects, the upper bound of the one-sided 95% confidence interval for the largest placebo-adjusted, baseline-corrected QTc based on the Fridericia correction method was below 10 ms, the threshold for regulatory concern. Thus, at a dose two times the maximum recommended dose, clobazam did not prolong the QTc interval to any clinically relevant extent.

12.3 Pharmacokinetics

The peak plasma levels (Cmax) and the area under the curve (AUC) of clobazam are doseproportional over the dose range of 10 to 80 mg following single- or multiple-dose administration of clobazam tablets. Based on a population pharmacokinetic analysis, the pharmacokinetics of clobazam are linear from 5 to 160 mg/day. Clobazam is converted to Ndesmethylclobazam which has about 1/5 the activity of clobazam. The estimated mean elimination half-lives (t½) of clobazam and N-desmethylclobazam were 36 to 42 hours and 71 to 82 hours, respectively.


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. Ndesmethylclobazam, 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. Ndesmethylclobazam 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 andN-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)].

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