Slow carbamazepine clearance in a nonadherent malay woman with epilepsy and thyrotoxicosis

Li Ling Yeap, Kheng Seang Lim, Ching Ching Ng, Amy Hui-Ping Khor, Yoke Lin Lo

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4 Citations (Scopus)


The authors describe a case of a 37-year-old Malay lady with an unusually slow carbamazepine clearance, which may be related to genetic polymorphisms of drug metabolizing enzymes and transporters. When given a small daily dose of 200 mg immediate-release carbamazepine, this patient experienced drowsiness. Subsequently, she reduced her carbamazepine dose to 200 mg twice a week (on Mondays and Fridays), resulting in poor seizure control. At the same time, the patient was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and was given carbimazole and propranolol. Hyperthyroidism and the concurrent use of these antihyperthyroid agents may have further slowed down the metabolism of carbamazepine. Therapeutic drug monitoring of carbamazepine was carried out, and a slow carbamazepine clearance of 1.45 L·h-1 per 70 kg was observed. Genotyping of selected genetic variants in CYP3A4, CYP3A5, EPHX1, ABCB1, and ABCC2 revealed that she has CYP3A5*3/*3 and ABCB1 3435-CC genotypes. Both genotypes have been shown to be associated with higher adjusted mean serum carbamazepine concentration in Chinese and Korean patients with epilepsy. Physicians should be vigilant about the risk of adverse effects among patients with a slow carbamazepine clearance, especially in Malays. Simulations of carbamazepine dosing regimen based on the pharmacokinetic parameters of this patient were performed to allow individualization of drug therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-9
Number of pages7
JournalTherapeutic Drug Monitoring
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • carbamazepine
  • genetic polymorphisms
  • nonadherence
  • pharmacokinetics
  • therapeutic drug monitoring

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