Purpose of review: This article reviews recent literature published over the period March 2012–August 2013 on antidepressant pharmacogenetics, with a focus on clinical translation and methodological challenges.
Recent findings: Recently, various polymorphisms associated with differential antidepressant efficacy, tolerability, and safety have emerged in association studies, but mixed findings, limited effect sizes, and poor control of confounders have prevented findings translating to practice. Although promising steps have been made, empirically robust clinically translatable pharmacogenetic tests are not yet established. The complex neurobiology of major depressive disorder (MDD) together with the evolving understanding of genetic processes present research challenges for clinical translation.
Summary: Early reports of clinical utility are published. The current evidence base for antidepressant pharmacogenetics is, however, not yet empirically robust enough to inform routine prescribing guidelines. Over the coming years, genetically guided versus unguided trials will help determine if antidepressant pharmacogenetics merits more widespread application.