Send to

Choose Destination
Br J Clin Pharmacol. 1997 Nov;44(5):447-53.

Population pharmacokinetics of clozapine evaluated with the nonparametric maximum likelihood method.

Author information

Department of Clinical Pharmacology at the Karolinska Institute, Huddinge Hospital, Sweden.



To evaluate the distribution of population kinetic parameters for clozapine and their relationship to age and gender in patients on continuous treatment with the drug.


Retrospective therapeutic drug monitoring data (391 samples from 241 patients) were evaluated using the nonparametric maximum likelihood method. Patients treated concomitantly with drugs known to interact with clozapine were not included. The distribution of clozapine clearance was compared with the distribution of the activity of the drug metabolic enzyme CYP1A2 found in other populations, as recent studies indicate that CYP1A2 is a major determinant for clozapine elimination. The kinetic linearity for clozapine was studied in 41 patients who each provided data from more than one dose level.


Clozapine clearance was highly variable in the population and skewed towards high values. Men had higher clearances CL/F (median with 25% and 75% quartiles 38.2 (22.0, 60.0) vs 28.3 (15.2, 48.6) l h(-1)) and a larger volume of distribution V/F (694 (224, 970) vs 401 (189, 932) l) than women. Clearance did not decrease with age in any gender. Clozapine clearance was similarly distributed as the indices of CYP1A2-activity found in other populations by other authors. Evidence of nonlinear kinetics was not found.


The large kinetic variability for clozapine found in this study implies that the dose of clozapine needs to be individualised over a wide dose range. The similarity of the distribution of clozapine clearance in this study and the CYP1A2-activity in other populations support the assumption that CYP1A2 is a major determinant for clozapine elimination.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center