Salivary measurement of deferiprone concentrations and correlation with serum levels

Elena Pope, Matitiahu Berkovitch, Julia Klein, Frank Fassos, Gideon Koren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Deferiprone (L1) is the first clinically available oral iron chelator and it has been proven to be effective for the treatment of transfusional iron overload in thalassemic patients. Because many of these patients have impaired compliance with their medications, effective means of continuous monitoring of compliance are crucial. Saliva drug monitoring has the potential advantage of an easy, noninvasive approach, assuming that it represents serum levels. However, drugs have variable correlations between saliva and serum concentration. We compared serum and saliva levels of L1 at various time points after ingestion of a 75 mg/kg/day dose in nine thalassemic patients. A highly significant correlation between serum-free L1 and saliva levels (r = 0.97, p = 0.0003) was found. Pharmacokinetic profiles were similar using serum and saliva monitoring. We conclude that saliva can be substituted for serum in monitoring L1 levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-97
Number of pages3
JournalTherapeutic Drug Monitoring
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Deferiprone
  • Saliva
  • Serum
  • Thalassemic patients
  • Transfusional iron overload


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