Liver first-pass metabolism differs considerably among organic nitrates, but little information exists on the mechanism of denitration of these compounds in hepatic tissue. The metabolism of nitrooxybutyl-esters of flurbiprofen and ferulic-acid, a class of organic nitrates with potential therapeutic implication in variety of different conditions, was investigated in comparison with glyceryl trinitrate (GTN) in human liver by a multiple approach, using a spontaneous metabolism-independent nitric oxide (NO) donor [3-(aminopropyl)-1-hydroxy-3-isopropyl-2-oxo-1-triazene (NOC-5)] as a reference tool. Nitrooxybutyl-esters were rapidly and quantitatively metabolized to their respective parent compounds and the organic nitrate moiety nitrooxybutyl-alcohol (NOBA). Differently from GTN, which was rapidly and completely metabolized to nitrite, NOBA was slowly metabolized to nitrate. In contrast to the spontaneous NO donor NOC-5, NOBA and GTN did not generate detectable NO and failed to suppress the activity of cytochrome P450, an enzyme known to be inhibited by NO. The direct identification of NOBA after liver metabolism targets this compound as the functional organic nitrate metabolite of nitrooxybutyl-esters. Moreover, the investigation of the pathways for denitration of NOBA and GTN suggests that organic nitrates are not primarily metabolized to NO in the liver but to different extents of nitrite or nitrate depending in their different chemical structure. Therefore, cytochrome P450-dependent metabolism of concomitant drugs is not likely to be affected by oral coadministration of organic nitrates. However, the first pass may differently affect the pharmacological profile of organic nitrates in connection with the different extent of denitration and the distinct bioactive species generated and exported from the liver (nitrate or nitrite).