TrOn – Pharmacokinetics: Part 2 – therapeutic drug monitoring

Dr Richard Cherry and reviewed by Dr Anand Beri

60 minutes

November 2021

TrOn learning module


Therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) has become increasingly important in modern medicine, including within psychiatry. It is primarily used to guide the safe and efficacious prescribing of certain medications, but can also be used to diagnose drug toxicity states, monitor drug interactions and inform regarding compliance, amongst other things.

Thus, an understanding of the principles, applications and limitations underlying TDM will be useful, not only for your MRCPsych examinations, but also in your clinical practice.

Indeed, it is likely that TDM will have an even more important role in the future, particularly when used in conjunction with the ever-expanding field of pharmacogenetics.

In this module we will start with a quick recap of some of the most important basic pharmacokinetic principles underpinning TDM, before looking in more detail at the process of TDM itself, its functions and limitations, and how plasma drug levels can be affected in vivo. Finally, we will look specifically at examples of psychotropic drugs that undergo TDM.


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