Beth Sproule

Associate Professor (Status-only)
Clinician Scientist


The goal of this clinical and pharmacy practice-based research program is to optimize the use of psychopharmacological agents in clinical practice. These investigations relate to both enhancing therapeutic efficacy while minimizing harms related to psychotropic medication use. A major focus of this research program is the problem of prescription drug abuse (e.g., abuse and addiction to prescription opioids or benzodiazepines). The problem of prescription drug abuse is unique in the field of substance abuse for primarily two reasons: any strategy to prevent or reduce abuse, must be balanced with the need to make these pharmaceutical products readily available for therapeutic use; and a subset of individuals abusing pharmaceutical products may also have a therapeutic need for the drug, adding complexity to assessment, prevention and treatment approaches. In this research program different aspects of the problem are explored including characterizing the problem, understanding the influence of comorbidities (e.g., mental health disorders, other substance use disorders), understanding the role of health care providers and the health care system in this problem, and evaluating monitoring, prevention, harm reduction and treatment strategies. Several research methodologies are used to address the issues including conducting surveys and interviews, performing experimental pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic investigations and using pharmacy practice-based approaches and interventions.

The research is based at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). CAMH is Canada’s largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital. CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental health and addiction issues. (


Selected Publications:

Sproule BA, Brands B, Li S, Catz-Biro L. Changing patterns in opioid addiction: Characterizing users of OxyContin® and other prescription opioids. Canadian Family Physician, 2009;55:68-9.e1-5.

Elkader AK, Brands B, Selby P, Sproule BA. Methadone-nicotine interactions in methadone maintenance treatment patients. Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, 2009;29: 231-238.

Elkader AK, Brands B, Dunn E, Selby P, Sproule BA. Major depressive disorder and patient satisfaction in relation to methadone pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in stabilized methadone maintenance patients. Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, 2009;29:77-81.

Sproule B, Nava-Ocampo AA, Kapur B. Measuring unbound versus total valproate concentrations for therapeutic drug monitoring. Ther Drug Monit. 2006 Oct;28(5):714-5.

Phokeo V, Sproule B, Raman-Wilms L. Community pharmacists’ attitudes toward and professional interactions with users of psychiatric medication. Psychiatry Services 2004;55(12):1434-1436.

Felix S, Sproule BA, Hardy BG, Naranjo CA. Dose-related pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of valproate in the elderly. Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology 2003;23(5):471-478.

Sturman ED, Sproule BA. Towards the development of a mood disorders insight scale: Modification of Birchwood’s Psychosis Insight Scale. Journal of Affective Disorders 2003;77:21-30.

Sproule BA, Busto UE, Somer G, Romach MK, Sellers EM. Characteristics of dependent and non-dependent regular users of codeine. Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology 1999;19(4):367-372.

Sproule BA, Bazoon M, Shulman KI, Turksen IB, Naranjo CA. Fuzzy logic pharmacokinetic modeling: Application to lithium concentration prediction. Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics 1997;62:29-40.

Sproule BA, Otton SV, Cheung SW, Zhong XH, Romach MK, Sellers EM. CYP2D6 inhibition in patients treated with sertraline. Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology 1997;17:102-106.

Beth Sproule, RPh, BScPhm, PharmD
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health / Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy and Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto
33 Russell Street
Toronto, Ontario, M5S 2S1
Tel: 416-535-8501 x6501
Fax: 416-595-6606