Cytochrome P450 drug-metabolizing enzymes may contribute to interindividual differences in antidepressant outcomes. We investigated the effects of CYP2C19 and CYP2D6 gene variants on response, tolerability, and serum concentrations. Patients (N = 178) were treated with escitalopram (ESC) from weeks 0-8 (Phase I), and at week 8, either continued ESC if they were responders or were augmented with aripiprazole (ARI) if they were non-responders (<50% reduction in Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale from baseline) for weeks 8-16 (Phase II). Our results showed that amongst patients on ESC-Only, CYP2C19 intermediate and poor metabolizers (IM + PMs), with reduced or null enzyme function, trended towards significantly lower symptom improvement during Phase II compared to normal metabolizers (NMs), which was not observed in ESC + ARI. We further showed that CYP2D6 NMs and IM + PMs had a higher likelihood of reporting a treatment-related central nervous system side effect in ESC-Only and ESC + ARI, respectively. The differences in the findings between ESC-Only and ESC + ARI may be due to the altered pharmacokinetics of ESC by ARI coadministration in ESC + ARI. We provided evidence for this postulation when we showed that in ESC-Only, CYP2C19 and CYP2D6 IM + PMs demonstrated significantly higher ESC concentrations at Weeks 10 and 16 compared to NMs. In contrast, ESC + ARI showed an association with CYP2C19 but not with CYP2D6 metabolizer group. Instead, ESC + ARI showed an association between CYP2D6 metabolizer group and ARI metabolite-to-drug ratio suggesting potential competition between ESC and ARI for CYP2D6. Our findings suggest that dosing based on CYP2C19 and CYP2D6 genotyping could improve safety and outcome in patients on ESC monotherapy.
© 2022. The Author(s).