The promise and reality of pharmacogenetics in psychiatry

Peter P. Zandi, Jennifer T. Judy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Existing psychotropic medications for the treatment of mental illnesses, including antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and antipsychotics, are clinically suboptimal. They are effective in only a subset of patients or produce partial responses, and they are often associated with debilitating side effects that discourage adherence. There is growing enthusiasm in the promise of pharmacogenetics to personalize the use of these treatments to maximize their efficacy and tolerability; however, there is still a long way to go before this promise becomes a reality. This article reviews the progress that has been made in research toward understanding how genetic factors influence psychotropic drug responses and the challenges that lie ahead in translating the research findings into clinical practices that yield tangible benefits for patients with mental illnesses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-224
Number of pages44
JournalPsychiatric Clinics of North America
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2010


  • Antidepressants
  • Antipsychotics
  • Efficacy
  • Genome-wide association study
  • Mood stabilizers
  • Pharmacogenetics
  • Pharmacogenomics
  • Side effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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