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The pharmacodynamic equipotency of 2 dose regimens(5 mg twice daily versus 10 mg once daily) of befloxatone, a new reversible and selective monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A) inhibitor, after single and multiple doses for 6 days was examined in a randomized, double-blind, three-way crossover, placebo-controlled trial of 12 healthy volunteers. Plasma levels of the deaminated metabolite 3-4 dihydroxyphenylglycol (DHPG), as measured by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with coulometric electrochemical detection, were used as an index of MAO inhibition. A single dose of befloxatone produced a significant dose-related reduction in plasma DHPG levels, as shown by the decrease in the 24-hour area under the concentration-time curve (AUC0-24) of DHPG, which peaked 2 hours after administration and persisted over 24 hours. Both dose regimens provided equipotent extent and duration of MAO-A inhibition at steady state, suggesting a once daily dosage should be sufficient for most patients. The pharmacokinetic bioavailability at steady state of both dose regimens was also similar. The concentration-time effect curve after a single dose revealed a hysteresis corresponding to the delay necessary to elicit MAO inhibition and/or elimination of DHPG. The relationship between plasma levels of DHPG and/or elimination of plasma concentrations of DHPG and befloxatone after a single dose can be modeled using the Emax model with a mean EC50 of 4.75 ng/mL, and suggests the presence of a maximal response from the single dose. This model permits prediction of steady-state levels of DHPG.