Clinical Pharmacokinetics

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 65–90 | Cite as

Antipsychotic Drugs

Clinical Pharmacokinetics of Potential Candidates for Plasma Concentration Monitoring
  • A. E. Balant-Gorgia
  • L. Balant
Review Article


Antipsychotic drugs (neuroleptics) are candidates for plasma concentration monitoring, but not all agents have the same potential in this respect. The present review analyses the available data on the kinetics and metabolism of fluphenazine, perphenazine, thiothixene, flupenthixol, clopenthixol, haloperidol, pimozide, penfluridol, sulpiride and clozapine.

Although some of the drugs described in this review have been in use for many years, knowledge of their pharmacokinetics is still only approximate. This is primarily because determination in biological fluids is not always feasible. Accordingly, analytical methods useful for pharmacokinetic studies or plasma concentration monitoring of these antipsychotic drugs are discussed.

With the exception of sulpiride, all the neuroleptics reviewed share some basic pharmacokinetic properties: good gastrointestinal absorption but reduced systemic availability because of hepatic first-pass metabolism, high hepatic clearance and a large apparent volume of distribution leading to an apparent elimination half life of about 24 hours for most of these compounds. The renal elimination is negligible and it seems that these drugs do not possess active metabolites.

The pharmacokinetic properties of antipsychotic drugs are important for the inclusion of a set of drugs in a psychiatric institution where there is a possibility of drug concentration monitoring. In addition, the availability of a depot preparation is of importance. These factors are discussed in view of the experience made during the last years in the University Psychiatric Institutions of Geneva.


High Performance Liquid Chromatography Haloperidol Clozapine Antipsychotic Drug Sulpiride 
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Copyright information

© ADIS Press Limited 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. E. Balant-Gorgia
    • 1
  • L. Balant
    • 1
  1. 1.Drug Monitoring Unit, Department of PsychiatryUniversity of GenevaGenevaSwitzerland

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