Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Steady-state serum concentrations of venlafaxine in patients with late-life depression. Impact of age, sex and BMI

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Hilmar SigurdssonORCiD


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


Diagnosis of late-life depression is given when depressive symptoms emerge in persons older than 65 years. Great care is needed when elderly patients receive psychopharmacotherapy due to altered pharmacokinetic status. As a consequence, age is considered to have a significant effect on serum concentrations of antidepressant drugs. The magnitudes of age-dependent changes, however, are uncertain. By utilizing a large therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) database, this cross-sectional study aimed to retrospectively assess pharmacotherapy in elderly patients in comparison with their younger counterparts, when treated with venlafaxine, which is widely used to treat late-life depression. In addition, the influence of sex and body mass index (BMI) was evaluated. Serum concentrations of venlafaxine and its active metabolite O-desmethylvenlafaxine requested during routine TDM in two University Medical Centers in Germany were analyzed. Patients with concomitant CYP2D6 inhibiting drugs as co-medication were excluded. In total, 1,417 samples were available for the analysis. Elderly patients had by average 42 % higher dose-adjusted serum concentrations (ng/mL/mg) of the active moiety (venlafaxine plus O-desmethylvenlafaxine) than younger patients. In addition, our study demonstrated that the difference between age groups is independent of sex and BMI. However, age groups only explain 4.5 % of the total dose-adjusted serum concentration variation of the venlafaxine active moiety. Dose adjustments for venlafaxine are recommended in patients aged 65 years or older, particularly in elderly female patients who are exceptionally vulnerable to high serum concentrations of venlafaxine. TDM is recommended during venlafaxine pharmacotherapy.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Sigurdsson HP, Hefner G, Ben-Omar N, Köstlbacher A, Wenzel-Seifert K, Hiemke C, Haen E

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Neural Transmission

Year: 2015

Volume: 122

Issue: 5

Pages: 721-729

Print publication date: 01/05/2015

Online publication date: 26/09/2014

Acceptance date: 20/09/2014

ISSN (electronic): 1435-1463

Publisher: Springer Vienna


DOI: 10.1007/s00702-014-1317-9


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric