Study: Testing Needed to Identify Each Individual’s Optimal Anitdepressant

Pharmacogenomic testing can help provide positive outcomes

A recent study proved patients with treatment-resistant major depressive disorder (MDD) were 30 percent more likely to respond to treatment on a second try if medication selection was guided by pharmacogenomics testing.

Moreover, the same patients were 50 percent more likely to achieve remission under such conditions.

The study was the largest-ever clinical investigation on depression and was presented at the 2018 American Psychiatric Association (APA) Annual Meeting.

The GeneSight psychotropic genetic test combines personal genetic data with medication information. DNA samples are taken with cheek swabs, which are sent to a laboratory. Results are returned in 36 hours in the form of a color-coded chart listing drugs with significant gene-drug interactions (red), those with moderate gene-drug interactions (yellow), and those that are not associated with any known genetic problems (green) for the patient.

The test cuts uncertainty and wasted time for patient and clinician, according to principal investigator John Greden, MD, executive director of the University of Michigan’s Comprehensive Depression Center, Ann Arbor.

“We’ve been using the test in our depression center, as have a number of centers, especially in patients who have failed a trial of antidepressants. In my case, I use it routinely for anyone who I am seeing for the first visit for the simple reason that I get referrals that are more difficult to treat and I want to know why they have failed other medications, so this is valuable information.”

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