It can be difficult to gauge which antidepressant will be effective for any given patient, but Stat News reports that some researchers argue that predictive genetic tests may not add any meaningful information into the mix.
Color Genomics announced this week that it would be offering as part of its $249 genetic test an analysis of the drug metabolism genes CYP2D6 and CYP2C19 to determine whether drugs like Zoloft or Paxil might be effective for its customers. It, Stat News says, joins the ranks of a dozen or so companies offering such tests.
However, some psychiatrists say the tests may be ahead of the science, it says, pointing to a 2013 meta-analysis in the American Journal of Psychiatry that found no reliable genetic predictors of antidepressant treatment outcome. Bruce Cohen, a psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School, tells Stat News that asking patients about their symptoms, diet, and other factors can be more helpful.
Color tells Stat News that pharmacogenomics for psychiatry "is sound and based on clear evidence and consensus statements."
But other physicians may order the tests, Stat News notes. University of California, Los Angeles psychiatrist and neuroscientist Erika Nurmi tells it she'd consider testing if she thought a patient had an issue with drug metabolism.