Despite the common use of antidepressant drugs for the treatment of various psychiatric illnesses,
selection of initial antidepressant therapy and subsequent drug modification strategies continue
to be largely based on trial and error. There are no biomarkers that can objectively guide dose and
treatment selection or alteration. The approach for antidepressant therapy management is even more
concerning when we consider that the effectiveness of antidepressants tend to be delayed with low response
rates. Therefore, strategies aimed at improving the current standard for selecting antidepressant
treatment and doses may have significant economic and clinical benefit. A promising approach towards this effort is the
use of pharmacogenomics to better identify patients that are likely to have an efficacious or adverse response from antidepressant
treatment. Candidate gene approaches as well as genome-wide association studies have been conducted to identify
genes or loci that influence antidepressant response. In this report, we highlighted key antidepressant pharmacogenomic
findings and identified candidate pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic genes for downstream analyses and further
validation. We also provided future directions regarding study methodologies and experimental design that are aimed
to move antidepressant pharmacogenomics research forward.
Keywords: Antidepressants, biomarkers, depression, genes, genetics, pharmacogenomics, and pharmacogenetics.
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