Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Antidepressant Efficacy in Smoking Cessation Depends on Genes

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Antidepressant Efficacy in Smoking Cessation Depends on Genes

Article excerpt

DANA POINT, CALIF. -- Smokers who possess one allele of a dopamine receptor gene have a harder time quitting with the aid of venlafaxine than those who possess the other allele.

The demonstration that a person's specific genotype affects his or her response to a drug illustrates the value of pharmacogenomics, which may one day lead to medications specifically tailored to a patient's genetic makeup, Paul M. Cinciripini, Ph.D., said at the annual American Cancer Society science writers seminar.

In a randomized, double-blind study, 134 smokers attempted to quit with the help of brief counseling and nicotine replacement via a patch. Half of the group received the antidepressant venlafaxine for 18 weeks following the quit week, and the other half received placebo.

Venlafaxine is not approved for smoking cessation. Bupropion is the only antidepressant labeled for this use. But antidepressants in general are known to help in the control of the negative affect, depressive symptoms, and anxiety that accompany attempts to quit smoking, said Dr. Cinciripini of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

The investigators genotyped all patients for the dopamine D2 receptor gene, which codes for a dopamine receptor in the brain. …

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