PGx Can Enhance Prescribing of Psychiatric Medications

In an journal article for Southern Medical Journal, authors Narang, MD et. al articulate the utility of pharmacogenetic practices within the psychiatric health space. Beyond an easily digestible and pertinent overview of the mechanism of pharmacogenomics - or personalized/precision medicine - one is provided a case-specific look at the clinical effectiveness of patients' PGx results used as a dosage aid against normal controls in the prescription of psychiatric medications. 

"There are 28 pharmacogenomic markers for psychiatric drugs that can now be accessed via clinical laboratories as an aid to prescribing in the United States."

Concentrating on serotonin and dopamine, the piece covers the science involved in the transporters and receptors of the aforementioned hormones, and how polymorphisms in specific alleles can be partially responsible for an individual's reaction to particular psychiatric medications. These variants can be easily tested for with a simple cheek swab, and dosage can be adjusted as a result. 

"In a prospective cohort study, subjects were separated into two groups: one cohort was treated for depression without undergoing pharmacogenetic testing, and the other cohort received testing that provided guidance to clinicians in selecting the most appropriate 8 weeks, this group experienced a reduction in depressive symptoms...Patients who received pharmacogenomics-guided therapy responded to treatment much better than did control subjects."

Please read the original journal article below for a more expansive look at the promise of PGx in psychiatric care and medication prescription.