Small effects of valproic acid on the plasma concentrations of clozapine and its major metabolites in patients with schizophrenic or affective disorders

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Two separate studies were carried out to assess the effect of valproic acid on the steady-state plasma concentrations of clozapine and its major metabolites norclozapine and clozapine N-oxide in psychotic patients. In the first study, concentrations of clozapine and metabolites were compared between patients treated with clozapine in combination with sodium valproate (n = 15) and control patients treated with clozapine alone (n = 22) and matched for sex, age, body weight, and antipsychotic dosage. Patients comedicated with valproate tended to have higher clozapine levels and lower norclozapine levels, but the differences did not reach statistical significance. In a subsequent study, plasma concentrations of clozapine and its metabolites were determined in 6 patients with schizophrenia stabilized on clozapine therapy (200-400 mg/d) before and after treatment with sodium valproate (900-1200 mg/d) for 4 weeks. Mean plasma concentrations of clozapine and its metabolites did not change significantly throughout the study, but there was a trend for clozapine levels to be higher and for norclozapine levels to be lower after valproate. Overall, these findings suggest that valproic acid may have an inhibiting effect on the CYP1A2- or CYP3A4-mediated conversion of clozapine to norclozapine. However, the interaction is unlikely to be clinically significant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-345
Number of pages5
JournalTherapeutic Drug Monitoring
Volume21
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1999

Keywords

  • Clozapine
  • Clozapine N-oxide
  • Drug interaction
  • Norclozapine
  • Valproic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Pharmacology
  • Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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