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Prediction of steady state plasma and saliva levels of desmethylimipramine using a single dose, single time point procedure

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In normal volunteer study (20 subjects) where each ingested 75 mg desmethylimipramine (DMI), blood and saliva samples were collected at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 12, 24, and 32 h post dose. Each subject then was given DMI 25 mg b.i.d. for 15 days. Blood and saliva samples were collected on days 3, 4, 12, 13, 14, and 15. All samples were analyzed for total DMI content. Strong correlations were found between the blood samples collected 12, 24, and 32 h post dose (r=0.93, 0.96, 0.95) and saliva samples collected 24 and 32 h post single dose (r=0.91, 0.84) and the subjects' respective steady states. Although the correlation between blood and saliva levels was weaker (r=0.7) because of considerable interindividual variation in the saliva/plasma DMI ratio (16-fold variation), this ratio in individual subjects was stable. These data suggest that, as has been shown for other psychotropic drugs, single blood measures at 24 h post ingestion of 75 mg DMI can be used to predict optimal dosage in individual patients. Acceptable predictions of steady state plasma levels were obtained when this technique was applied to patient data available in the literature. It is also suggested that if the saliva/plasma ratio is established for each individual patient, their drug level monitoring may be possible using this noninvasive approach.

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Correspondence to Thomas B. Cooper.

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Cooper, T.B., Bark, N. & Simpson, G.M. Prediction of steady state plasma and saliva levels of desmethylimipramine using a single dose, single time point procedure. Psychopharmacology 74, 115–121 (1981). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00432675

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Key words

  • Desmethylimipramine
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Saliva/plasma ratios
  • Steady state prediction
  • Single time point procedure