, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 101–107 | Cite as

Clinical significance of plasma chlorpromazine levels

II. Plasma levels of the drug, some of tis metabolites and prolactin in patients receiving long-term phenothiazine treatment
  • T. Kolakowska
  • D. H. Wiles
  • M. G. Gelder
  • A. S. McNeilly
Human Pharmacology


Plasma levels of chlorpromazine (CPZ), 3 of its metabolites and prolacin were measured repeatedly in 18 chronic schizophrenic patients. The patients were studied while on chronic phenothiazine medication (chlorpromazine in 8, other phenothiazines in 10), during 4–6 weeks on placebo and during 6–12 weeks of CPZ treatment. The findings were compared with those obtained during acute CPZ treatment in patients who had received similar CPZ doses but no previous long-term phenothiazine medication.

Plasma CPZ levels were similar in the chronic and the acute groups and so was their relation to dose. In neither group was therapeutic effect related to plasma CPZ level. In these chronic patients, in contrast to findings during acute CPZ treatment, neither prolactin level nor the appearance of parkinsonian symptoms was related to plasma drug level. In the chronic group both these effects were less pronounced during the period on CPZ which followed the placebo than were the corresponding effects during CPZ treatment in the acute group. Since plasma CPZ levels of the two groups were similar, these differences may be due to an acquired tolerance of the nervous system to some of the antidopaminergic effects of the drug.

Key words

Chlorpromazine Chlorpromazine metabolites Prolactin Chronic phenothiazine treatment Parkinsonian symptoms Tolerance 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Kolakowska
    • 1
  • D. H. Wiles
    • 1
  • M. G. Gelder
    • 1
  • A. S. McNeilly
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, Littlemore Hospital Research UnitUniversity of OxfordOxford
  2. 2.Department of Chemical PathologySt. Bartholomew's HospitalLondon

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