Since the identification of all the major drug-metabolising cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes and their major gene variants, pharmacogenetics has had a major impact on psychotherapeutic drug therapy. CYP enzymes are responsible for the metabolism of most clinically used drugs. Individual variability in CYP activity is an important reason for drug therapy failure. Variability in CYP activity may be caused by various factors, including endogenous factors such as age, gender and morbidity as well as exogenous factors such as co-medication, food components and smoking habit. However, polymorphisms, present in most CYP genes, are responsible for a substantial part of this variability. Although CYP genotyping has been shown to predict the majority of aberrant phenotypes, it is currently rarely performed in clinical practice.