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Therapie. 1996 Jul-Aug;51(4):399-402.

Therapeutic drug monitoring and drug-drug interactions: a pharmacoepidemiological perspective.

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Therapeutic Drug Monitoring Unit, Geneva University Hospitals, Switzerland.


The present study investigates the potential of therapeutic drug monitoring databases to document co-medication as a possible risk factor for subtherapeutic or excessively high concentrations of psychotropic drugs. Exposure was defined with respect to co-medication including one of five agents known for their capacity to induce (phenytoin, phenobarbital and carbamazepine) or to inhibit (thioridazine and levomepromazine) the metabolism of psychotropic drugs. 87 patients exposed to such co-medication were matched by sex, age and monitored psychotropic medication with 87 patients randomly selected from a pool of subjects whose co-medication did not include any substance known to interact. Outcome was defined with respect to dose-normalized concentrations being below or above therapeutic range. When taking all psychotropic drugs together, the estimated relative risk to reach concentrations above the therapeutic range was 7.8 for patients exposed to phenothiazine co-medication. The relative risk to remain at subtherapeutic level was 2.7 for patients with inducers. When considering the different psychotropic drugs separately, a coherent picture was observed, with increased risk ratios for all substances.

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