Plasma reduced haloperidol (RH) concentrations or RH to haloperidol (HL) ratios have been suggested to be important in determining the clinical efficacy and extrapyramidal side effects of HL. In this study, we measured the steady-state plasma HL and RH levels by high performance liquid chromatography and analyzed the effects of various variables (dose, gender, age, and body weight) on RH/HL ratios in four dose groups of Chinese schizophrenic inpatients: 10 mg/day (n = 84), 20 (n = 111), 30 (n = 29), and 60 (n = 55). In addition, the polymorphic distribution of RH/HL ratios, suggested by previous investigators, was further tested in each dosage group (for controlling the potential dosage effect on RH/HL ratios). As a result, both age and body weight could influence RH/HL ratios. Each year increase in age (after adjusting the effects of gender, body weight, and dosage) would elevate the RH/HL ratio by 0.0067 (P < 0.0001). On the other hand, after adjusting gender, age, and dosage effects, each kg increment in body weight would decrease the RH/HL ratio by 0.0044 (P < 0.01). Gender did not influence the ratio. Furthermore, the high dosage groups had higher RH/HL ratios (even with other variables being controlled). In comparison with the 10 mg group, the 60 mg group exhibited a higher mean RH/HL ratio by 0.84 (P < 0.0001) and the 30 mg group did by 0.31 (P < 0.0001). The 20 mg group was almost equal to the 10 mg group in RH/HL ratios. Besides, at each dosage group, the frequency distribution of RH/HL ratios seemed to be predominantly unimodal with a small proportion of extreme outliers. The results of this study clearly indicate that aging or high dose (≤ 30 mg/day) of HL could raise the plasma RH/HL ratio, while an increasing body weight would reduce that. In contrast, gender does not affect the ratios.
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