Purpose: Olanzapine is a commonly prescribed antipsychotic available as oral and long-acting injectable (LAI) formulations. Data are lacking on the use and safety of olanzapine-LAI in older patients. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of increasing age on olanzapine exposure during oral versus LAI administration in a real-life setting.
Methods: This observational study was based on routine therapeutic drug monitoring data collected during 2005-2017. As a measure of exposure, absolute concentrations and concentration/dose ratios of olanzapine were defined as outcome variables. Linear mixed-model analyzes were used to allow for inclusion of multiple samples per patient and adjustment for covariate effects.
Results: Olanzapine concentrations and doses from 8,288 patients (21,378 measurements) were included. The number of patients on oral treatment was 7,893 (42%, 50 years or older), while 395 were using olanzapine-LAI (27%, 50 years or older). In contrast to oral use, where the dose-adjusted concentration of olanzapine increased significantly for patients 50 years or older (P < 0.001), increasing age had no effect on olanzapine concentration following LAI administration (P = 0.550). The effects of smoking habits and gender were equal in oral and olanzapine-LAI users.
Conclusion: While the dose-adjusted systemic exposure of olanzapine increases by age after oral administration, these novel findings from a large patient population show that systemic exposure of olanzapine-LAI is unaffected by age, probably due to the lacking influence of age-related changes in gastrointestinal absorption and/or presystemic metabolism. From a pharmacokinetic point of view, it is therefore no reason to restrict the use of olanzapine-LAI in older patients requiring long-term treatment.