An Overview of Pharmacogenetics in Psychotropic Drugs
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.
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.
Keywords: Antidepressants, antipsychotics, lithium, mood stabilizers, pharmacogenetics, risperidone, selective serotonin
re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
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