What is the role of genetics in the response to pharmacologic treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Updated: Aug 06, 2020
  • Author: Jerry L Halverson, MD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
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Genetics also play a significant part in the response to pharmacologic treatment of major depression. A study of the drug transporter gene ABCB1 (which encodes a transporter glycoprotein and functions as an active efflux pump for a number of drugs across the blood-brain barrier) found an association between 2 single-nucleotide polymorphisms and achievement of remission with citalopram, paroxetine, amitriptyline, and venlafaxine. Also, in a mouse model lacking the gene homologous to the human ABCB1 gene, the mice had significantly higher concentrations of citalopram, venlafaxine, or desvenlafaxine after 11 days of subcutaneous administration of the drugs, despite drug plasma concentrations that were identical to those in mice lacking this mutation. [29]

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