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J Clin Psychopharmacol. 1995 Dec;15(6):435-9.

Dosing of antidepressants--the unknown art.

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  • Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Karolinska Institute, Huddinge Hospital, Sweden.


Data from a therapeutic drug monitoring service, in total 2,393 observations in 1,606 patients, were used to analyze factors associated with the prescribed daily doses of the tricyclic antidepressants amitriptyline and nortriptyline. The achieved concentrations in plasma were evaluated in relation to suggested therapeutic ranges. The doses of both drugs were greatly reduced with increasing age, despite the fact that age is of minor importance for their kinetics. Interactions with concomitantly given drugs were not handled by dose adjustments of the antidepressant. Therapeutic drug monitoring increased the proportion of concentrations within the therapeutic range for patients on amitriptyline, but not for those on nor-triptyline. The large interindividual kinetic variability for most antidepressants requires individualized dosing, but this individualization is performed on incorrect grounds.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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