Genetics of psychotropic medication induced side effects in two independent samples of bipolar patients

Chiara Fabbri, Daniel Souery, Raffaella Calati, Concetta Crisafulli, Armando Chierchia, Diego Albani, Gianluigi Forloni, Alberto Chiesa, Rosalba Martines, Othman Sentissi, Julien Mendlewicz, Giovanni De Girolamo, Alessandro Serretti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The treatment of bipolar disorder (BD) usually requires combination therapies, with the critical issue of the emergence of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) and the possibility of low treatment adherence. Genetic polymorphisms are hypothesized to modulate the pharmacodynamics of psychotropic drugs, representing potential biological markers of ADRs. This study investigated genes involved in the regulation of neuroplasticity (BDNF, ST8SIA2), second messenger cascades (GSK3B, MAPK1, and CREB1), circadian rhythms (RORA), transcription (SP4, ZNF804A), and monoaminergic system (HTR2A and COMT) in the risk of neurological, psychic, autonomic, and other ADRs. Two independent samples of BD patients naturalistically treated were included (COPE-BD n = 147; STEP-BD n = 659). In the COPE-BD 34 SNPs were genotyped, while in the STEP-BD polymorphisms in the selected genes were extracted from the genome-wide dataset. Each ADRs group was categorized as absent-mild or moderate-severe and logistic regression with appropriate covariates was applied to identify possible risk genotypes/alleles. 58.5 and 93.5 % of patients were treated with mood stabilizers, 44.2 and 50.7 % were treated with antipsychotics, and 69.4 and 46.1 % were treated with antidepressants in the COPE-BD and STEP-BD, respectively. Our findings suggested that ST8SIA2 may be associated with psychic ADRs, as shown in the COPE-BD (rs4777989 p = 0.0017) and STEP-BD (rs56027313, rs13379489 and rs10852173). A cluster of RORA SNPs around rs2083074 showed an effect on psychic ADRs in the STEP-BD. Trends supporting the association between HTR2A and autonomic ADRs were found in both samples. Confirmations are needed particularly for ST8SIA2 and RORA since the few available data regarding their role in relation to psychotropic ADRs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-58
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Neural Transmission
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Antidepressant
  • Antipsychotic
  • Gene
  • Mood stabilizer
  • Pharmacogenetics
  • Side effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Medicine(all)


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