The measurement of plasma clozapine concentrations is useful in assessing compliance, optimizing therapy, and minimizing toxicity.
We measured plasma clozapine and norclozapine (N-desmethylclozapine) concentrations in samples from 3782 patients (2648 male, 1127 female). No clozapine was detected in 291 samples (227 patients, median prescribed dose 300 mg/d). In 4963 (50.2 %) samples (2222 patients); plasma clozapine concentration ranged from 10 to 350 ng/mL.
Step-wise backward multiple regression analysis (37 % of the total samples) of log10 plasma clozapine concentration against log10 clozapine dose (mg/d), age (year), sex (male = 0, female = 1), cigarette smoking habit (nonsmokers = 0; smokers = 1), body weight (kg), and plasma clozapine/norclozapine ratio (clozapine metabolic ratio, MR) showed that these covariates explained 48% of the observed variation in plasma clozapine concentration (C = ng/mL × 10−3) (P < 0.001) according to the following equation:
This model and its associated confidence intervals were used to develop nomograms of plasma clozapine concentration versus dose for male and female smokers and nonsmokers. Predicted plasma clozapine changes by +48% in nonsmokers, +17% in females, ±8% for every 0.1 change in MR (reference 1.32), ±4% for every 5 years (reference 40 years), and ±5% for every 10 kg body weight (reference 80 kg). The nomograms can be used (i) to individualize dosage to achieve a given target plasma clozapine concentration, and (ii) for quantitative evaluation of adherence by estimating the likelihood of an observed concentration being achieved by a given dosage regimen. The model has been validated against published data.