Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 3 (3), 257-74

Pharmacogenetics of Antidepressant Response: An Update


Pharmacogenetics of Antidepressant Response: An Update

Antonio Drago et al. Hum Genomics.


The past few decades have witnessed much progress in the field of pharmacogenetics. The identification of the genetic background that regulates the antidepressant response has benefited from these advances. This review focuses on the pharmacogenetics of the antidepressant response through the analysis and discussion of the most compelling evidence in this line of research. Online databases (Medline and PsycINFO) have been searched and the most replicated association findings relating to the genetics of the antidepressant response have been reported and discussed. Some replicated findings in the literature have suggested the serotonin transporter promoter (5-HTTLPR), serotonin receptor 1A (HTR1A), serotonin receptor 2A (HTR2A), brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), corticotropin releasing hormone receptor 1 (CRHR1) and FK506 binding protein 5 (FKBP5) as putative regulators of the antidepressant response. A high rate of failure of replication has also been reported. Pharmacogenetics will hopefully provide the basis for personalised antidepressant treatment that is able to maximise the probability of a good response and to minimise side effects; however, this goal is not achievable at the moment. The extent of the validity of the replicated findings and the reasons for the poor results obtained from studies of the pharmacogenetics of the antidepressant response are discussed.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 11 articles

See all "Cited by" articles


    1. Maier W, Zobel A. Contribution of allelic variations to the phenotype of response to antidepressants and antipsychotics. Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2008;258(Suppl 1):12–20. - PubMed
    1. Karasu TB, Gelenberg A, Merriam A, Wang P. American Psychiatric Association practice guideline for the treatment of patients with major depressive disorder. Am J Psychiatry. 2000;157:1–45. - PubMed
    1. Trivedi MH, Rush AJ, Wisniewski SR. et al. Evaluation of outcomes with citalopram for depression using measurement-based care in STAR*D: Implications for clinical practice. Am J Psychiatry. 2006;163:28–40. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.163.1.28. - DOI - PubMed
    1. Serretti A, Zanardi AR, Rossini D. et al. Influence of tryptophan hydroxylase and serotonin transporter genes on fluvoxamine antidepressant activity. Mol Psychiatry. 2001;6:586–592. doi: 10.1038/ - DOI - PubMed
    1. Dempfle A, Scherag A, Hein R. et al. Gene-environment interactions for complex traits: Definitions, methodological requirements and challenges. Eur J Hum Genet. 2008;16:1164–1172. doi: 10.1038/ejhg.2008.106. - DOI - PubMed