MORGAN FEELY, M.D., M.R.C.P.I.; DAVID PRICE, M.B., M.R.C.P.; JONATHAN COOKE, M.PHARM.
To the editor: In their review, Eraker and associates (1) rightly point out that pharmacokinetic differences between drugs and patients have greatly limited the usefulness of measurements of (therapeutic) drug levels or pharmacologic markers in the assessment of compliance. We suggest that phenobarbital, a drug used extensively for more than 70 years, in the appropriate dosage, can serve as a widely applicable, quantitative indicator of compliance.
Phenobarbital has a half-life of about 4 days in adults. Observations made during inpatient treatment (2) and in a prospective study that included monthly blood level monitoring (3) suggest that once age is taken
FEELY M, PRICE D, COOKE J. Phenobarbital in the Monitoring of Compliance. Ann Intern Med. ;101:138–139. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-101-1-138_2
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1984;101(1):138-139.
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