Individual changes in clozapine levels after smoking cessation: results and a predictive model

J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2001 Dec;21(6):569-74. doi: 10.1097/00004714-200112000-00005.


Published reports document 20-40% lower mean serum clozapine concentrations in smokers compared with nonsmokers due to enzyme induction. Despite the increase in nonsmoking psychiatric facilities in the United States, previous studies have not tracked individual changes in serum clozapine levels after smoking cessation. Clozapine level changes were analyzed in 11 patients at Oregon State Hospital who were on stable clozapine doses, before and after implementation of a hospital-wide nonsmoking policy. A mean increase in clozapine levels of 71.9% (442.4 ng/ml +/- 598.8 ng/ml) occurred upon smoking cessation (p < .034) from a baseline level of 550.2 ng/ml (+/- 160.18 ng/ml). One serious adverse event, aspiration pneumonia, was associated with a nonsmoking serum clozapine level of 3066 ng/ml. Elimination of statistically extreme results generated a mean increase of 57.4 % or 284.1 ng/ml (+/- 105.2 ng/ml) for the remaining cases (p < .001) and permitted construction of a linear model which explains 80.9% of changes in clozapine levels upon smoking cessation (F = 34.9;p = .001): clozapine level as nonsmoker = 45.3 + 1.474 (clozapine level as smoker). These findings suggest that significant increases in clozapine levels upon smoking cessation may be predicted by use of a model. Those with high baseline levels should be monitored for serious adverse events.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic / blood*
  • Clozapine / blood*
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Psychological
  • Models, Statistical
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Smoking / blood
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Smoking Cessation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric


  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic
  • Clozapine