Transformation Projects

Mental Health Pharmacogenetics

Improving our understanding of pharmacogenetic guided treatment in mental health

Mental Health Pharmacogenetics

Project Background

Pharmacogenomics combines the science of pharmacology and of the genome to describe the influence of genes on an individual’s response to medicines.

One area where pharmacogenomics could be valuable is in mental health, to help choose and tailor the dosing of psychotropic drugs based on an individuals genetic variants. This is a new area of medicine, and the North Thames GMSA are working to support pharmacists working within mental health to investigate how this innovation could be incorporated into routine practice.

Project overview

We have created a mental health pharmacogenomics (PGx) Specialist Interest Group who will help improve genomic literacy in PGx within mental health care. It brings together a multidisciplinary group of psychiatrists, pharmacists, clinical fellows and public representatives from across London, who are focussed on developing PGx guidelines and a patient information leaflet for the use of common psychotropic treatments. We hope this work will help healthcare professionals choose safe, effective anti-psychotic medicines tailored to variations in a person’s genes.

Progress to date

To date, the group have conducted a detailed review of existing literature and guidelines/consensus documents available on PGx in mental health. This is being used to identify challenges and opportunities, as well as education needs and will be the basis for new guidelines for anti-psychotic drugs.

We have also reviewed commercial pharmacogenetic guidelines to generate ideas on an ideal pharmacogenetic report for mental health drugs and what key information should be included to guide clinicians.

Key contacts

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