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Influence of the serotonin transporter gene-linked polymorphic region on the antidepressant response to fluvoxamine in Japanese depressed patients.

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Department of Psychiatry, Akita University School of Medicine, Japan.


The presence of the long (l) variant of the serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine: 5-HT) transporter gene-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) is reported to be associated with a more favorable and faster antidepressant effect of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in Caucasians. The frequency of the l allele is lower in Japanese than in Caucasians; therefore, the antidepressant effect of fluvoxamine can be not as good in Japanese as in Caucasians. The authors investigated whether 5-HTTLPR was associated with the antidepressant response to fluvoxamine in 66 Japanese patients with major depressive disorder in a protocolized-dosing 6-week study. The short (s) allele frequency was significantly higher in the responsive individuals than in the nonresponsive ones (P = .010). The present study suggests that fluvoxamine is not less effective in depressive patients carrying the s allele than in the ones carrying the l allele and it is not less effective in Japanese than in Caucasians.

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