Development of a nomogram for the estimation of long-term adherence to clozapine therapy using neutrophil fluorescence

W H Man, A Pérez-Pitarch, I Wilting, E R Heerdink, W W van Solinge, A C G Egberts, A D R Huitema*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Aims: Previously, we have reported an association between clozapine use and elevated FL3 neutrophil fluorescence, a flow-cytometric parameter for cell viability. Here, we developed and evaluated a pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic model relating FL3-fluorescence to clozapine exposure and derived a nomogram for estimation of long-term adherence. Methods: Data from 27 patients initiating clozapine were analysed using nonlinear mixed effects modelling. A previously described pharmacokinetic model for clozapine was coupled to a FL3 fluorescence model. For this, an effect compartment with clozapine concentrations as input and a first order decay rate as output was linked with an Emax model to FL3-fluorescence. FL3-fluorescence was simulated for clozapine doses of 50, 150 and 400 mg daily (n = 10 000) to establish the nomogram. Finally, true simulated adherence (% of daily doses taken over 100 days) was compared to nomogram-estimated adherence to evaluate the performance of the nomogram. Results: The half-life of FL3-fluorescence was estimated at 228 h (coefficient of variation 35%). Median absolute prediction errors of the nomogram in case of fully random adherence for 50, 150 and 400 mg ranged from -0.193% to -0.525%. The nomogram performed slightly worse in case of nonrandom adherence (median prediction error up to 5.19%), but was still clinically acceptable. Compliance patterns containing longer drug holidays revealed that the nomogram adequately estimates compliance over approximately the last 3 weeks prior to FL3-measurement. Conclusion: Our nomogram could provide information regarding long-term adherence based on prescribed clozapine dose and FL3-fluorescence. Future studies should further explore the clinical value of this biomarker and nomogram.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1228-1237
Number of pages10
JournalBritish Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


  • FL3-fluorescence
  • biomarker
  • clozapine
  • medication adherence
  • neutrophil granulocytes
  • pharmacodynamics
  • pharmacokinetics
  • schizophrenia


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