Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci.  2018 Feb;16(1):1-6. 10.9758/cpn.2018.16.1.1.

The Present and Future of Precision Medicine in Psychiatry: Focus on Clinical Psychopharmacology of Antidepressants

  • 1Department of Biomedical and NeuroMotor Sciences, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.


Precision medicine is a concept which is recently gaining momentum in all branches of medicine. In particular in psychiatry it is greatly needed given the huge societal costs of psychiatric disorders and given the long time needed to observe benefit from treatments and the response variability. The future will be based on biological determinants, however until such an interesting but still futuristic aim will be reached, at present we may only rely on clinical features to guide our individualized prescription which is currently still frequently based on personal opinion and subjective previous experiences. The aim of this review is to offer an overview of the main aspects to take into consideration when prescribing an antidepressant treatment to reach the best precision medicine using clinical information. More than 40 compounds are available for treating depression and a similar amount of compounds for other psychiatric disorders. The process of matching the profile of the patient with all different profiles of available compounds is therefore quite complex. Our everyday prescribing procedure should take into consideration a number of factors such as the knowledge of the profile of available compounds versus the symptomatology profile of the subject, previous efficacy, medical comorbidities, tolerability profile, individual preferences, and family history. While we are waiting more complex algorithms including biological or genetic measures, it is possible to optimize our current prescription practice by using all available information in order to obtain as much as possible an evidence based precision medicine prescription.


Antidepressive agents; Depression; Precision medicine; Psychiatry; Psychopharmacology

MeSH Terms

Antidepressive Agents*
Precision Medicine*
Antidepressive Agents
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