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Markers of Individual Drug Metabolism: Towards the Development of a Personalized Antidepressant Prescription

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The development of a personalized psychopharmacotherapy could potentially reduce treatment failure associated with drug intolerance or resistance, and therefore the burden and costs of affective disorders. An important challenge in realising this potential will be to identify suitable markers of an individual’s metabolic response to specific pharmaceuticals.

In the absence of suitable markers related directly to drug mechanism, the drug-metabolizing enzymes and transporters have emerged as major determinants of variability in drug metabolism and response. In keeping with this emergent general pharmacological trend, numerous studies concerning the relationship between antidepressants, their metabolism, transport, pharmacokinetic properties, efficacy and tolerability have now been published. These studies are reviewed in this article.

The studies considered here frequently support a link between enzyme/transporter activity and/or the pharmacokinetic parameters of antidepressants. However, the majority of studies explored the variability of tricyclic antidepressants, which are less often prescribed today. Furthermore only a few studies have been conducted in naturalistic clinical conditions, seeking to determine whether the systematic assessment of the variability may improve the management of ‘real-world’ patients.

Nonetheless recent studies have yielded promising results regarding the potential benefits of determining drug metabolism variability which might encourage additional large-scale prospective systematic studies be set up to assess the relevance of this approach in everyday practice.
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Keywords: Antidepressant; depression; genotyping; personalized medicine; pharmacodynamics; pharmacokinetics; phenotyping

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2015

More about this publication?
  • Current Drug Metabolism aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments in drug metabolism and disposition. The journal serves as an international forum for the publication of timely reviews in drug metabolism. Current Drug Metabolism is an essential journal for academic, clinical, government and pharmaceutical scientists who wish to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments. The journal covers the following areas:

    In vitro systems including CYP-450; enzyme induction and inhibition; drug-drug interactions and enzyme kinetics; pharmacokinetics, toxicokinetics, species scaling and extrapolations; P-glycoprotein and transport carriers; target organ toxicity and interindividual variability; drug metabolism and disposition studies; extrahepatic metabolism; phase I and phase II metabolism; recent developments for the identification of drug metabolites and adducts.
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