Significant dose effect of carbamazepine on reduction of steady-state plasma concentration of haloperidol in schizophrenic patients

J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2003 Oct;23(5):435-40. doi: 10.1097/


A reduction in haloperidol concentration induced by carbamazepine coadministration has been consistently reported. However, the degree of this reduction is very different among individuals treated with various doses of carbamazepine. Thus, we investigated dose effect of carbamazepine on the steady-state plasma concentration of haloperidol. Eleven excited schizophrenic inpatients, despite receiving haloperidol 12 mg/d, were treated with incremental doses of carbamazepine for 6 weeks (100, 300, 600 mg/d for 2 weeks each). Plasma drug concentrations were monitored together with clinical assessments before and after each phase of the 3 carbamazepine doses. Mean haloperidol concentrations during coadministration of carbamazepine 100, 300, and 600 mg/d were 75%, 39%, and 15%, respectively, of corresponding variables before carbamazepine coadministration. Negative linear correlations were observed between dose or plasma concentration of carbamazepine and the degree of reduction in haloperidol concentration. Mean carbamazepine dose and plasma carbamazepine concentrations at 50% reduction of haloperidol concentration were 240 mg/d and 3.5 microg/mL, respectively. Scores in total and excitement symptoms were significantly reduced after carbamazepine coadministration, whereas no changes were observed in other clinical symptoms or any of the subgroup side effects. Therefore, this study indicates that carbamazepine decreases plasma haloperidol concentration in a dose-dependent or concentration-dependent manner, and that reduction in haloperidol concentration is apparent even at subtherapeutic dose of carbamazepine.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale / statistics & numerical data
  • Carbamazepine / administration & dosage*
  • Carbamazepine / blood*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Interactions / physiology
  • Female
  • Haloperidol / blood*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Schizophrenia / blood*
  • Schizophrenia / drug therapy*


  • Carbamazepine
  • Haloperidol