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Ther Drug Monit. 2000 Aug;22(4):446-54.

Therapeutic drug monitoring of sertraline: variability factors as displayed in a clinical setting.

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Department of Neuroscience and Locomotion, Linköping University Hospital, Sweden.


This report describes sertraline pharmacokinetics derived from routine therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) data. A high-performance liquid chromatographic method with ultraviolet detection was established for routine sertraline TDM, and 924 analyses were performed from April 1995 to May 1997. Extensive predefined inclusion/exclusion criteria were applied to increase the validity of scientifically evaluated data. Subsequently, 605 samples (65.5%) were excluded. The remaining 319 samples from 319 patients, representative of steady state trough specimens and accompanied by essential clinical information provided on request forms, were scrutinized. A pronounced interindividual variability was observed. Smokers had significantly lower concentration-to-dose (C/D) mean ratios of serum sertraline (s-sert) and its main metabolite desmethylsertraline (s-dsert) than nonsmokers. Higher s-sert and s-dsert C/D mean ratios were found in elderly patients than in adults aged less than 65 years. In a subset of 20 patients in whom repeated TDM analyses were performed, observed intraindividual sertraline TDM outcome variability was low. The results highlight sertraline TDM as a tool for individual dose optimization and evaluation of patient drug compliance as well as drug-drug interactions.

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