Applications of stable isotopes in clinical pharmacology

Reinout C A Schellekens, Frans Stellaard, Herman J Woerdenbag, Henderik W Frijlink, Jos G W Kosterink

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61 Citations (Scopus)


This review aims to present an overview of the application of stable isotope technology in clinical pharmacology. Three main categories of stable isotope technology can be distinguished in clinical pharmacology. Firstly, it is applied in the assessment of drug pharmacology to determine the pharmacokinetic profile or mode of action of a drug substance. Secondly, stable isotopes may be used for the assessment of drug products or drug delivery systems by determination of parameters such as the bioavailability or the release profile. Thirdly, patients may be assessed in relation to patient-specific drug treatment; this concept is often called personalized medicine. In this article, the application of stable isotope technology in the aforementioned three areas is reviewed, with emphasis on developments over the past 25 years. The applications are illustrated with examples from clinical studies in humans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)879-897
Number of pages19
JournalBritish Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec-2011


  • Bioavailability
  • Breath test
  • Clinical pharmacology
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Phenotyping
  • Stable isotope
  • acecainide
  • carbamazepine
  • carbon
  • cibenzoline
  • flecainide
  • gallopamil
  • glyceryl trinitrate
  • hydrogen
  • ibuprofen
  • imipramine
  • indinavir
  • isotope
  • mefloquine
  • methadone
  • metoprolol
  • mirtazapine
  • moracizine
  • nicotine
  • nifedipine
  • nitrendipine
  • nitrogen
  • oxygen
  • phenytoin
  • propantheline bromide
  • terbutaline
  • terodiline
  • testosterone
  • trazodone
  • unindexed drug
  • verapamil
  • adult
  • bioavailability
  • case report
  • clinical pharmacology
  • drug binding
  • drug bioavailability
  • drug delivery system
  • drug metabolism
  • drug release
  • drug safety
  • human
  • physical chemistry
  • priority journal
  • review

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