Relationship between plasma concentrations of clozapine and norclozapine and therapeutic response in patients with schizophrenia resistant to conventional neuroleptics

Edoardo Spina, Angela Avenoso, Gabriella Facciolà, Maria G. Scordo, Maria Ancione, Aldo G. Madia, Andrea Ventimiglia, Emilio Perucca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Rationale: Monitoring plasma clozapine concentrations may play a useful role in the management of patients with schizophrenia, but information on the relationship between the plasma levels of the drug and response is still controversial. Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between plasma concentrations of clozapine and its weakly active metabolite norclozapine and clinical response in patients with schizophrenia resistant to conventional neuroleptics. Methods: Forty-five patients, 35 males and ten females, aged 19-65 years, were given clozapine at a dosage up to 500 mg/day for 12 weeks. Steady-state plasma concentrations of clozapine and norclozapine were measured at week 12 by a specific HPLC assay. Psychopathological state was assessed at baseline and at week 12 by using the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale, and patients were considered responders if they showed a greater than 20% reduction in total BPRS score compared with baseline and a final BPRS score of 35 or less. Results: Mean plasma clozapine concentrations were higher in responders (n=18) than in non-responders (n=27) (472±220 versus 328±128 ng/ml, P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-89
Number of pages7
JournalPsychopharmacology
Volume148
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2000

Keywords

  • Clozapine
  • Norclozapine
  • Plasma concentration
  • Schizophrenia
  • Therapeutic drug monitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

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