Plasma clozapine and norclozapine in relation to prescribed dose and other factors in patients aged 65 years and over: data from a therapeutic drug monitoring service, 1996-2010

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To investigate the effect of dose and other factors on plasma clozapine concentrations in patients aged 65 years and over. 

Audit of clozapine therapeutic drug monitoring data, 1996-2010. 

There were 1930 samples [778 patients, 363 men aged (median, range) 67 (65100) years and 415 women aged 68 (6590) years]. There was no significant difference in the mean plasma clozapine concentration between men (0.56mg/l) and women (0.58mg/l), although the mean dose was higher in men (323mg/d) than women (264mg/d). The higher proportion of men (46%) compared with women (37%) smokers could explain this finding. Overall, 32% of samples had plasma clozapine below, and 37% above, a target range of 0.350.60mg/l. Overall, the median dose decreased from 300 (65-70years) to 200mg/d (age 85years and over). However, prescription of >350mg/d was associated with a 50% likelihood that the plasma clozapine would exceed 0.60mg/l. For a subgroup of 196 patients (114 men, 82 women), mean plasma clozapine was significantly higher after age 65 despite significantly lower dosage. 

Clozapine dosage in elderly patients should be reviewed regularly to minimise the risk of adverse effects. 

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-283
Number of pages7
JournalHuman Psychopharmacology : Clinical and Experimental
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2012


  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Clozapine
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Monitoring
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Factors

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