Background: Clobazam was recently approved for Lennox–Gastaut syndrome in the United States. There is no published review article focused on clobazam therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) in English.

Methods: More than 200 clobazam articles identified by a PubMed search were carefully reviewed for information on clobazam pharmacokinetics. Clobazam is mainly metabolized by a cytochrome P450 (CYP) isoenzyme, CYP3A4, to its active metabolite, N-desmethylclobazam. Then, N-desmethylclobazam is mainly metabolized by CYP2C19 unless the individual has no CYP2C19 activity [poor metabolizer (PM)].

Results: Using a mechanistic approach to reinterpret the published findings of steady-state TDM and single-dosing pharmacokinetic studies, 4 different serum clobazam concentration ratios were studied. The available limited steady-state TDM data suggest that the serum N-desmethylclobazam/clobazam ratio can be useful for clinicians, including identifying CYP2C19 PMs (ratio >25 in the absence of inhibitors). There are 3 possible concentration/dose (C/D) ratios. The clobazam C/D ratio has the potential to measure the contribution of CYP3A4 activity to the clearance of clobazam from the body. The N-desmethylclobazam C/D ratio does not seem to be a good measure of clobazam clearance and should be substituted with the total (clobazam + N-desmethylclobazam) C/D ratio.

Conclusions: Future clobazam TDM studies need to use trough concentrations after steady state has been reached (>3 weeks in normal individuals and several months in CYP2C19 PMs). These future studies need to explore the potential of clobazam and total C/D ratios. Better studies on the relative potency of N-desmethylclobazam compared with the parent compound are needed to provide weighted total serum concentrations that correct for the possible lower N-desmethylclobazam pharmacodynamic activity. Standardization and more studies of C/D ratios from clobazam and other drugs can be helpful to move TDM forward.

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Notes/Citation Information

Published in Therapeutic Drug Monitoring, v. 35, issue 1, p. 30-47.

This is a non-final version of an article published in final form in “de Leon J, Spina E, Diaz FJ. Clobazam therapeutic drug monitoring: a comprehensive review of the literature with proposals to improve future studies. Therapeutic Drug Monitoring 35(1):30-47, 2013. doi: 10.1097/FTD.0b013e31827ada88.”

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