Blood Levels to Optimize Antipsychotic Treatment in Clinical Practice: A Joint Consensus Statement of the American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology and the Therapeutic Drug Monitoring Task Force of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft für #08#

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Objective: The quantification of antipsychotic levels in blood, also known as therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM), is a potentially useful tool of modern personalized therapy that can be applied to augment antipsychotic use and dosing decisions. The application of TDM for antipsychotics can be helpful in numerous challenging clinical scenarios, such as lack of therapeutic response, relapse, or adverse drug reactions (ADRs) related to antipsychotic treatment. The benefits of TDM may be particularly evident in the treatment of highly vulnerable patient subgroups, such as children, adolescents, pregnant women, and the elderly. The main aim of this article is to aid clinicians who routinely prescribe antipsychotics to successfully apply TDM in routine clinical practice in order to help optimize the efficacy and safety of those antipsychotics.

Participants: Participants were clinicians and researchers, members of the American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology, and the Therapeutic Drug Monitoring Task Force of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Neuropsychopharmakologie und Pharmakopsychiatrie (Association of Neuropsychopharmacology and Pharmacopsychiatry).

Evidence: TDM literature on antipsychotics was critically reviewed to provide a condensed clinical decision-making algorithm with therapeutic reference ranges for blood antipsychotic levels, within which patients are most likely to respond and tolerate treatment, although TDM is not equally recommended/supported for all antipsychotics.

Consensus Process: A preliminary draft was prepared and circulated to the writing group members. Consensus was achieved in all cases, and resulting recommendations focused on following areas: steady-state and sampling time, levels of recommendations, indications, therapeutic reference ranges and laboratory alert levels, practical issues, and interpretation, as well as limitations.

Conclusions: The utilization of TDM as a tool for problem solving in antipsychotic treatment offers a unique method to improve safety and efficacy. This consensus statement summarizes essential information on the routine use of TDM for antipsychotics and encourages clinicians to perform TDM with the appropriate indications as part of the clinical decision-making process.

J Clin Psychiatry 2020;81(3):19cs13169

https://doi.org/10.4088/JCP.19cs13169