Flinders University researchers are leading an internationally funded study of a common anti-psychotic drug used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
A team from the Department of Clinical Pharmacology, led by Drs Andrew Rowland and Tom Polasek, has won a $160,000 grant from UK-based company Simcyp to investigate whether computer modelling software can be used to predict dosing of the drug olanzapine.
Olanzapine is widely used in the treatment of schizophrenia, acute mania and bipolar disorder, yet up to 80% of patients stop using it within five years because of the way the body reacts to the drug – by either getting rid of it so quickly that it has no therapeutic effect or by not getting rid of it, causing the drug to build up to toxic levels.
Dr Rowland says the study will explore whether a computer program (Simcyp) that is traditionally used by drug companies to predict ‘clearance’ rates for new drugs – how quickly people take to eliminate the drug from the body – could be used by clinicians to find the best dose of olanzapine for individual patients.
Updated 1 June 2012