Study exploring collecting finger sweat to monitor patient adherence to antipsychotic medication shows promising results

27 September 2023


Collection of finger sweat is explored in this study from the University of Surrey, as a rapid, convenient and less-invasive way of monitoring patient adherence to antipsychotic drugs. 

60 patients receiving antipsychotic mediation (plus 30 people in the control group) took part to help researchers evaluate the use of finger sweat to detect and monitor antipsychotic drugs (and their metabolites) compared to conventional blood sample collection. At Sussex Partnership, patients at our Clozapine Clinic in Worthing took part in this important study.

The study has found that the finger sweat tests detected the presence of antipsychotic drugs accurately in every patient taking them but it was most effective for Clozapine. Hand-washing did not make a difference to the efficacy of the tests. Also, the levels of Clozapine metabolites in finger sweat correlated with the levels found in blood. This raises an exciting possibility that the test will eventually be able to quantify the levels of Clozapine in a patient's sweat instead of just detecting them. 

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust were delighted to be a site and would like to thank all of our service users and SPFT colleagues, in particular, our wonderful staff at Worthing Clozapine clinic, for being involved in this research.

Katherine Longman of the University of Surrey, first author of the study in Frontiers in Chemistry, said:

 Our test offers patients a quick and dignified way of showing commitment to antipsychotic treatment. This non-invasive approach can also be adapted to fit other therapeutic regimes.