Comparative pharmacokinetic data about the antidepressant venlafaxine (VEN) and the antipsychotic drug risperidone (RIS) over the lifespan and especially in children and adolescents is lacking. This is the first cross-sectional study that aimed to investigate differences in dose-corrected serum concentrations (CDs) and metabolite to parent compound ratios (MPRs) of VEN and RIS across the lifespan.
Patients treated with VEN and RIS at the University Hospital of Würzburg, Germany were included in the study. Serum level determinations were performed during clinical routine care. Patients with CYP2D6 influencing co-medication were excluded from analyses.
In 953 patients (12-93 years) treated with VEN and 552 patients (7-92 years) treated with RIS, children/adolescents (<18 years) showed 11% and 19%, and 44% and 42% lower CDs of the active moieties (CDs) of VEN and RIS than adults and elderly (≥60 years) (Kruskal-Wallis tests; p ≤ 0.001). However, when CDs were normalized to body weight, a different pattern emerged. Gender differences, with higher CDs in females were present in adults and elderlies but not in children/adolescents. No gender- or age-dependent difference in MPRs was found; however, 80% of MPRs of RIS in children/adolescents were below the range of "normal" CYP2D6 function for adults.
We suggest a higher clearance as a reason for lower CDs of VEN and RIS in children/adolescents compared to adults/elderlies. Metabolism of VEN or RIS by CYP2D6, characterized by MPRs, was not associated with age. However, MPRs of RIS were lower in children/adolescents, possibly due to a higher renal clearance of 9-OH-risperidone.

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