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Brief Reports   |    
Haloperidol plasma levels and clinical response: a therapeutic window relationship
Am J Psychiatry 1992;149:500-505.
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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of the study was to assess the relationship between plasma haloperidol and clinical response. METHOD: Sixty-nine newly admitted drug-free schizophrenic men were randomly assigned to receive haloperidol, 5, 10, or 20 mg daily for 4 weeks, and clinical response was measured at the end of the fixed-dose period. Haloperidol was assayed by a sensitive and specific radioimmunoassay. RESULTS: The authors found a curvilinear relationship between clinical response and plasma haloperidol during fixed-dose treatment, with an apparent optimum between 5 and 12 ng/ml. When plasma levels above 12 ng/ml were lowered to the 5-12 ng/ml range, all patients improved to varying degrees and no patient deteriorated. When plasma levels of nonresponders within this therapeutic window were raised above 12 ng/ml (as in routine practice), they, on balance, deteriorated in that they became more dysphoric. With the 20-mg dose, half the patients had plasma levels above 12 ng/ml. CONCLUSIONS: In this sample of newly admitted schizophrenic men, optimal clinical response occurred with a plasma haloperidol range of 5-12 ng/ml.

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