Gene Variant Predicts Side-Effect Severity and Response to Antidepressants

Biological and science test tubesFrom Psychiatric News Alert: A variant in a gene called ABCB1 can predict how a person will respond to certain antidepressants, reports a new study in AJP in Advance titled “ABCB1 Genetic Effects on Antidepressant Outcomes: A Report From the iSPOT-D Trial.”

The study involved 683 patients who received escitalopram, sertraline, or extended-release venlafaxine; the participants also had their ABCB1 gene sequenced. All three of these medications interact with P-glycoprotein, the protein encoded by the ABCB1 gene that functions in transporting antidepressants across the blood-brain barrier.

The authors found a variant called rs10245483 had a significant effect on remission rate and side effects, though it varied depending on the medication. People who had two copies of the common variant (G/G) responded better and had fewer side effects with escitalopram and sertraline. In contrast, people with the minor variant (T/T) responded better and had fewer side effects with venlafaxine.

The degree of remission correlated with the relative cognition of the patient. G/G participants had a greater rate of remission with escitalopram if their cognition was intact, whereas people with T/T displayed a greater rate of remission with venlafaxine if their cognition was impaired.

To read about a potential pharmacogenetic biomarker that may help inform sobriety treatment, see the Psychiatric News article “Genetic Analysis Identifies Possible Acamprosate Biomarker.”

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