Current Psychiatry Reviews

Michael E. Thase
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
3535 Market St, Suite 670
Philadelphia, PA 19104


An Overview of Pharmacogenetics in Psychotropic Drugs

Author(s): Stephanie Ross, Zainab Samaan and Guillaume Pare

Affiliation: Population Health Research Institute, McMaster University, Hamilton General Hospital Campus, DBCVSRI, 237 Barton Street East, Rm. C3103 Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8L 2X2.

Keywords: Antidepressants, antipsychotics, lithium, mood stabilizers, pharmacogenetics, risperidone, selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs).


There is considerable variation in the individualized response to psychotropic drug therapies, which include antidepressants, antipsychotics and mood stabilizers. It has been proposed that the wide interindividual variability in psychotropic drug-response may be attributable to genetic variants. Thus pharmacogenetics may help to accurately predict response to psychotropic treatment, and may be used as guidelines in selecting an appropriate psychotropic treatment in order to maximize drug efficacy and minimize drug toxicity. Although the clinical utility of psychiatric pharmacogenetics is very promising, its adoption in clinical practice has been slow. This resistance may stem from sometimes conflicting findings among pharmacogenetic studies. The failure to replicate these findings may result from a lack of high-quality studies and unresolved methodological issues. In this review we will address methodological and statistical challenges in pharmacogenetic studies and summarize the current pharmacogenetic literature on psychotropic drug-response.

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Article Details

Page: [182 - 191]
Pages: 10
DOI: 10.2174/1573400510666140320000642