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Lookup NU author(s): Dr Hilmar Sigurdsson
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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.
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
Print publication date: 01/05/2015
Online publication date: 26/09/2014
Acceptance date: 20/09/2014
ISSN (electronic): 1435-1463
Publisher: Springer Vienna
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