Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

ObjectiveZuclopenthixol pharmacokinetics is incompletely characterised. We investigated potential interactions mediated through cytochrome P450 enzymes.MethodIn vitro, we examined the impact of CYP2D6 and CYP3A4 inhibitors on zuclopenthixol metabolism in microsomes from six human livers. Subsequently, we compared dose-corrected serum zuclopenthixol concentrations in 923 samples from a therapeutic drug monitoring database from patients prescribed oral (n = 490) or injected (n = 423) zuclopenthixol alone or with fluoxetine, paroxetine, levomepromazine or carbamazepine.ResultsIn vitro fluoxetine, paroxetine, ketoconazole and quinidine all significantly inhibited zuclopenthixol metabolism. Ketoconazole and quinidine together abolished zuclopenthixol disappearance. Clinically, dose-corrected oral zuclopenthixol serum concentrations increased significantly, after adjustment, by 93%, 78% and 46% during co-treatment with fluoxetine, paroxetine and levomepromazine and decreased 67% with carbamazepine. Carbamazepine caused dose-dependent reductions in the oral zuclopenthixol concentration-dose ratio (P < 0.001), fluoxetine (P < 0.001) and paroxetine (P = 0.011) dose-dependent increases and levomepromazine an increase related to its serum concentration (P < 0.001). Results for injected zuclopenthixol were similar but not all reached statistical significance.ConclusionThe In vitro study suggests zuclopenthixol is metabolised primarily by CYP2D6 and CYP3A4. The clinical study supports this, demonstrating the impact of co-prescribed inhibitors or inducers. Guidelines should incorporate these interactions noting the potential for zuclopenthixol-related toxicity or treatment failure.

Original publication




Journal article


Acta psychiatrica Scandinavica

Publication Date





444 - 453


University of Bristol, UK.


Microsomes, Liver, Humans, Fluoxetine, Quinidine, Ketoconazole, Paroxetine, Carbamazepine, Methotrimeprazine, Clopenthixol, Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System, Antimanic Agents, Antipsychotic Agents, Antidepressive Agents, Second-Generation, Antifungal Agents, Antimalarials, Drug Monitoring, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug, Drug Interactions, Adult, Middle Aged, Female, Male, In Vitro Techniques