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Stassen, H; Anghelescu, I G; Angst, J; Böker, H; Lötscher, K; Rujescu, D; Szegedi, A; Scharfetter, C (2011). Predicting response to psychopharmacological treatment: survey of recent results. Pharmacopsychiatry, 44(6):263-272.

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Treatment with antidepressants and antipsychotics, though effective, is unspecific as agents that differ greatly in their biochemical and pharmacological actions have virtually the same efficacy. Half of the patients with initial improvement show incomplete response, while a large proportion of patients exhibit a refractory clinical picture which is resistant to all treatment modalities.

Our analyses were based on a reference study of 2,848 depressive inpatients under monotherapeutic treatment with 7 different antidepressants or placebo, along with a naturalistic study of depressive and schizophrenic patients (296 inpatients, 363 outpatients) under today's "standard" polypharmaceutic treatment regimens.

The empirical data suggested the following predictors of response: (1) severity at baseline, (2) early onset of improvement, (3) unwanted side-effects, and (4) medical comorbidity. A combination of these predictors with Therapeutic Drug Monitoring (TDM) methods has direct clinical relevance.

Evidence-based approaches to personalized treatment help improving the unsatisfactory situation patients and clinicians are faced with, given today's incomplete treatments and the fact that the mechanisms by which antidepressants and antipsychotics ultimately exert their therapeutic effects are only marginally understood.

Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.


9 citations in Web of Science®
10 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™


Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatics
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Response Genetics
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Deposited On:11 Mar 2012 12:50
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:43
Publisher DOI:10.1055/s-0031-1286290
PubMed ID:21959789

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