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Personal Information
College Photo Name D'Arcy, Deirdre
College Address ,
Main Department Pharmacy
College Title Assistant Professor
College Tel +353 1 896 2785
After first registering a pharmacist in 1999, Deirdre undertook specialist clinical pharmacy training and worked as a clinical pharmacist full time for ~3 years. During this time she developed an interest in clinical pharmacokinetics. Following this she undertook a PhD in pharmaceutical technology, exploring methods to mathematically simulate pharmaceutical processes. Concurrently, she undertook a diploma in quality improvement and also worked part-time as a community pharmacist. With this broad range of qualifications, experience and research she proceeded with an academic career in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. She is involved in teaching at undergraduate and post-graduate level, and also has experience in education of medical and nursing students. She additionally has experience in clinical trial protocol writing, authorisation and reporting. She is the lead PI of the clinical pharmacokinetics research group ( Current research spans using clinical pharmacokinetics to assess and optimise dosing in critically ill patients and haematology patients, design of clinically relevant dissolution testing conditions and simulation of dissolution testing. Teaching interests also include development of pharmacist competencies, through involvement in two international projects focussed on pharmacist education.
Professional Qualifications
Qualification Institution Class of Degree Title of Dissertation Date Conferred
M. Pharm Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen 1   July 1998
Pharmacist RPSGB, PSI    
Diploma in Clinical Pharmacy Liverpool john Moore's University Distinction   2002
Diploma in Quality Improvement Trinity College Dublin Distinction   November 2004
PhD Trinity College Dublin     July 2007
Administrative Functions
Details Level Date From Date To
Undergraduate Tutor October 2008 October 2011
Co-ordinator of MSc in Pharmaceutical Technology October 2009 October 2010
BSc Pharmacy SS year co-ordinator October 2009 Present
Member of Course Management Committee 2009 Present
Coiste na Gaeilge Ionadaí -Dámh na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte February 2012 Present
Membership of Professional Institutions, Associations, Societies
Details Date From Date To
Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland 2002 Present
PIER -Pharmacists in Industry, Education and Regulatory 2012 Present
United Kingdom Clinical Pharmacy Association Present
Awards and Honours
Award Date
Sotax Award for Dissolution Innovation September 2010
Education Details
School/College Date From Date To
Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland 1994 1998
Liverpool John Moore's University 2000 2002
Trinity College Dublin 2002 2007
Language Skill Reading Skill Writing Skill Speaking
English Fluent Fluent Fluent
French Medium Basic Medium
Irish Fluent Fluent Fluent
Employment Details
Position Held Job Description Where Date From Date To
Clinical Pharmacist   North Manchester General Hospital August 1999 April 2002
Locum community pharmacist Community pharmacist in busy clinically-orientated community pharmacy Cronins' Pharmacy Balbriggan June 2002 2007
Description of Research Interests
-Clinical pharmacokinetics, in particular or antimicrobials -PKPD and dose optimisation of antimicrobials -Effects of clinical and patient factors on drug release and distribution -Clinically relevant in vitro dissolution and drug release testing -Simulation and modelling of drug dissolution and release
Research Interests
Dosage Forms Drug Delivery Systems FORMULATIONS Methods of Drug Delivery
PHARMACODYNAMICS PK/PD Pharmacokinetics Pharmacotherapy
Research Projects
Project title An investigation to determine an appropriate teicoplanin dosage regimen for the treatment of Gram-positive infection in patients with haematological malignancy.
Summary Teicoplanin is a glycopeptide antibiotic that has bactericidal activity against aerobic and anaerobic Gram-positive bacteria including multi-resistant staphylococci. Along with vancomycin, it has become one of the treatments of choice for Gram-positive sepsis, including infections caused by meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Teicoplanin has a structure and spectrum of activity similar to that of vancomycin but its pharmacokinetic properties are quite distinct. For these reasons, teicoplanin is often the preferred choice over vancomycin for the treatment of Gram-positive infection in patients with haematological malignancy. Despite this, specific dosage guidelines and an appropriate target trough level for this patient group have not been determined. Higher doses have been suggested for patients with haematological malignancy, but increasing the dose not only increases the risk of adverse effects but also reduces the cost-effectiveness when compared to vancomycin. Therefore, most patients with haematological malignancy continue to receive standard doses of teicoplanin and therapeutic drug monitoring is not widely practised. As patients with haematological malignancy are at high risk for developing severe Gram-positive infections, underdosing of teicoplanin is of great concern. The aims of this project are to determine current teicoplanin prescribing practices, to investigate whether certain clinical or patient factors contribute to efficacy or toxicity of teicoplanin or to trough levels attained, and to conduct a prospective trial to determine pharmacokinetic characteristics of teicoplanin in patients with haematological malignancy. Phase 1, a survey of teicoplanin practice in all Irish/UK haematology services, was completed in June 2013. Findings revealed that the majority of hospitals rely on the manufacturer's standard dosage regimen rather than therapeutic drug monitoring as an indicator for therapeutic dosing and that local practices lack a clear evidence base. Data gathering for Phase 2, a retrospective study of teicoplanin dosage and clinical outcomes in teicoplanin-treated patients with haematological malignancy at Tallaght Hospital, was completed in November 2013. Results suggested a positive relationship between teicoplanin concentration and treatment outcome. Findings also suggested a risk of underexposure if conventional doses of teicoplanin are used in patients with haematological malignancy. A model was developed for dosage optimisation of teicoplanin in patients with haematological malignancy. Nephrotoxicity analysis suggested that teicoplanin is well tolerated at the renal level. Phase 3, a clinical trial to determine the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of teicoplanin in patients with haematological malignancy, was commenced in subjects in March 2014.
Funding Agency Meath Foundation (In collaboration with Tallaght hospital Haematology and PHarmacy departments).
Programme PhD
Type of Project PhD
Date from March 2012
Date to
Person Months

Project title Simulation of dissolution rate profiles of pharmaceutical systems
Summary This project involves the development of software code which allows generation of a simulated profile of particles dissolving over time. It includes simulation of dissolution under a range of pharmaceutical industry-standard test conditions. Dissolution testing is a routine testing process in the pharmaceutical industry. Both instrumentation and operational characteristics of the dissolution test are rigidly defined. It is a recognised problem that dissolution results can fall out of specification,suggesting that a drug is being released too slowly or too quickly. These out of specification results could be due to (unintentional) changes in many stages of the manufacturing process, or could be as a result of a change in the operation or specifications of the dissolution testing apparatus itself. Existing solutions concern either running experimental tests, or use of certain dissolution theory and models, which do not always take the detailed operational characteristics of the test procedure into account. This technology allows insight into effects of the testing conditions on the dissolution rate, without having to run real-time dissolution tests to check each effect.
Funding Agency
Type of Project MSc plus continuing PI research
Date from October 2008
Date to Present
Person Months

Project title A clinical pharmacokinetic evaluation of amphotericin B lipid complex in critically ill patients
Summary Amphotericin B lipid complex (ABLC) has been used extensively to treat proven or suspected severe fungal infections. In this project, the effect of continuous renal replacement therapy - continuous veno-venous haemodiafiltration (CVVHDF) on the pharamcokinetics of ABLC in critically ill patients was examined. Sixteen patients (21 profiles) were recruited to the study; 9 profiles undergoing CVVHDF and 12 profiles not undergoing CVVHDF, during their ABLC treatment. Non compartmental analysis was performed to calculate the following PK parameters of AMB: clearance (Cl), volume of distribution at steady state (Vss) and half life (t1/2). In the current study, wide variability was observed in both intra- and inter-patient PK of AMB, after the administration of ABLC. Multiexponential kinetics of AMB, after the administration of ABLC, were also observed. The median values of Cl, Vss and t1/2 calculated within a sampling interval of AMB were determined to be 27 L/h and 44 L/h, 1500 L and 2000 L, 34 hours and 33 hours for patients undergoing CVVHDF and not undergoing CVVHDF respectively. No statistical difference was found between PK parameters of AMB in patients undergoing and not undergoing CVVHDF. Also, the maximum amount cleared by CVVHDF was less than 1% of ABLC dose. Statistically significant relationships were observed between Vss and albumin and C reactive protein (CRP), where a decrease in albumin and an increase in CRP levels were related to an increase in Vss. In addition, a trend effect was demonstrated where an increase in the daily dose of noradrenaline administered was related to an increase in plasma AMB concentrations.
Funding Agency In collaboration with the ICU, Tallaght hospital (part funded by Cephalon Ireland Ltd).
Programme PhD
Type of Project
Date from October 2008
Date to July 2013
Person Months

Project title Effect of hydrodynamics in the USP apparatus 4 on dissolution/drug release rates
Summary The dissolution rates of model compounds of low- to intermediate-solubility were examined under conditions of no forced convection (natural convection) and at low flow rates in the USP 4 dissolution apparatus (Flow-through apparatus). The hydrodynamics of the flow-through apparatus were simulated using the CFD software, Fluent. The effect of low, time-dependent fluid velocities on dissolution was being examined, in particular with relevance to the estimated magnitude of fluid velocities in the GI tract. The effect of natural convection was found to have a signfiicant impact on dissolution rate under low velocity conditions.
Funding Agency IRCSET
Programme Post-graduate scholarship
Type of Project
Date from October 2007
Date to July 2012
Person Months

Publications and Other Research Outputs
Peer Reviewed
Deirdre M D'Arcy, Owen I Corrigan, Evelyn Deasy, Caitríona M Gowing, Maria B Donnelly, Gentamicin pharmacokinetics in critically ill patients during treatment with continuous venovenous haemodiafiltration (CVVHDF), European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 71, (3), 2015, p377 - 378
Catherine J Byrne, Sean Egan, Deirdre M D'Arcy, Philomena O'Byrne, Evelyn Deasy, Jerome P Fennell, Helen Enright, Johnny McHugh, Sheila A Ryder, Teicoplanin usage in adult patients with haematological malignancy in the UK and Ireland: Is there scope for improvement, Eur J Hosp Pharm, doi:10.1136/ejhpharm, 2014
Deirdre M D'Arcy, Tim Persoons, Mechanistic Modelling and Mechanistic Monitoring: Simulation and Shadowgraph Imaging of Particulate Dissolution in the Flow-Through Apparatus, Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 100, (3), 2011, p1102–1115
Notes: [PMID: 20848646]
Non Peer Reviewed
Sheila Ryder Deirdre D’Arcy . Johnny McHugh, 'A prospective, single-centre, cohort study to determine the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic parameters of teicoplanin in adult patients with haematological malignancy', Dublin, Ireland, 2014, -
Notes: [Clinical Trial protocol authorised by Irish Medicines Board January 2014]
Catherine Byrne, Sean Egan, Deirdre D'Arcy, Philomena O'Byrne, Evelyn Deasy, Jérôme Fennell, Helen Enright, Johnny McHugh, Sheila Ryder, Teicoplanin Usage in Adult Patients with Haematological Malignancy in the UK and Ireland: Is there scope for improvement? , Haematology Association of Ireland Conference 2013, Belfast, Ireland, 2013, 2013
More Publications and Other Research Outputs >>>

Last updated 1 July 2015 by School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences (Email).