Pharmacogenetic testing in psychiatric inpatients with polypharmacy is associated with decreased medication side effects but not via medication changes

Andrea R. Collins, Simon Kung, Jacqueline T. Ho, Jessica A. Wright, Kristina C. Dammen, Emily K. Johnson, Maria I. Lapid, Jonathan G. Leung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In psychiatric patients, medication adverse effects are regularly attributed to psychosomatic causes. However, many psychotropic medications are metabolized by cytochrome P450 (CYP450) enzymes. In the setting of polypharmacy, the activity of these enzymes may produce unfavorable drug-drug interactions (DDI) and drug-genotype interactions (DGI) that contribute to morbidity and mortality. This study sought to estimate the risk of adverse DDI and DGI in psychiatric inpatients with polypharmacy. We assessed whether medication changes made after pharmacogenetics (PGx) testing correlated with changes in side effects and overall improvement. Adult psychiatry inpatients with polypharmacy, defined as 5 or more scheduled prescription medications, completed the 24-item Antidepressant Side Effect Checklist (ASEC) questionnaire on enrollment and underwent PGx testing. Analysis of PGx results focused on whether the CYP2D6 and CYP2C19 phenotypes were “extreme,” defined as poor, poor to intermediate, or ultrarapid. Approximately 30 days after PGx results were sent to outpatient providers, patients were contacted to obtain their current medication list and ASEC and Clinical Global Impression Improvement (CGI-I) scores. A total of 80 patients were enrolled, and 52 (65%) completed follow-up. ASEC scores improved from 11.5 (±8.1) to 7.2 (±6.0) (p = 0.0009). Mean CGI-I score was 2.7 (±1.4), between “minimal” to “much improved.” However, linear regression revealed that these improvements were not correlated with whether medications were changed. We concluded that the impact of drug-genotype interactions in this small sample of inpatients with polypharmacy was low, and that patient improvement was related not to PGx-guided medication changes but to other treatments during hospitalization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-111
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
StatePublished - Jul 2020


  • Cytochrome P450
  • Drug-drug interaction
  • Drug-genotype interaction
  • Pharmacogenetics
  • Polymorphism
  • Polypharmacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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