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Pharmacogenomics. 2012 Mar;13(4):441-64. doi: 10.2217/pgs.12.1.

Pharmacogenetics of antidepressant drugs: current clinical practice and future directions.

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  • 1University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, Center for Neurobiology & Behavior, Translational Research Laboratories, 125 South 31st Street, Room 2213, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


While antidepressants are widely used to treat mood and anxiety disorders, only half of the patients will respond to antidepressant treatment and only one-third of patients experience a full remission of symptoms. The identification of genetic biomarkers that predict antidepressant-treatment response can improve current clinical practice. This is an emerging field known as pharmacogenetics, which comprises of genetic studies on both the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of treatment response. Recent studies on antidepressant-treatment response have focused on both aspects of pharmacogenetics research, identifying new candidate genes that may predict better treatment response for patients. This paper reviews recent findings on the pharmacogenetics of antidepressant drugs and future clinical applications. Ultimately, these studies should lead to the use of genetic testing to guide the use of antidepressants in clinical practice.

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