Research Article

Clinical pharmacokinetics: a comprehensive system for therapeutic drug monitoring and prescribing.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984; 288 doi: (Published 18 February 1984) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984;288:541
  1. B Whiting,
  2. A W Kelman,
  3. S M Bryson,
  4. F H Derkx,
  5. A H Thomson,
  6. G H Fotheringham,
  7. S E Joel


    Clinical pharmacokinetics is an expanding scientific discipline which can make an impact on treatment in coronary care, intensive care, paediatrics, general medicine and surgery, and general practice. The aim of this study was to establish a rapid system of drug assay, to report the result, to assess the influence of pathological and clinical factors on the pharmacokinetics of certain drugs, and to use a computer to determine the optimum dosage of drugs. The clinical pharmacokinetics laboratory in Stobhill is available to all clinical departments and to general practitioners in the area. Digoxin, theophylline, and phenytoin have been assessed. Initial samples of these drugs showed that only about a third were in the therapeutic range; samples obtained after the issue of the laboratory report showed an improvement. The predictive performance of the computer program improved with feedback of one or two drug concentrations. Dosages of drugs chosen on an empirical basis may not lead to optimum treatment, and by testing samples early the dosage of the drug can be adjusted. It is hoped that the results achieved will encourage other clinical, pharmaceutical, and scientific colleagues to develop laboratories along similar lines.