Antipsychotic drugs are widely used in the treatment of schizophrenia and psychotic disorder. The lack of antipsychotic response and treatment-induced side-effects, such as neuroleptic syndrome, polydipsia, metabolic syndrome, weight gain, extrapyramidal symptoms, tardive dyskinesia or prolactin increase, are the two main reasons for non-compliance and increased morbidity in schizophrenic patients. During the past decades intensive research has been done in order to determine the influence of genetic variations on antipsychotics dosage, treatment efficacy and safety. The present work reviews the molecular basis of treatment response of schizophrenia. It highlights the most important findings about the impact of functional polymorphisms in genes coding the CYP450 metabolizing enzymes, ABCB1 transporter gene, dopaminergic and serotonergic drug targets (DRD2, DRD3, DRD4, 5-HT1, 5HT-2A, 5HT-2C, 5HT6) as well as genes responsible for metabolism of neurotransmitters and G signalling pathways (5-HTTLPR, BDNF, COMT, RGS4) and points their role as potential biomarkers in everyday clinical practice. Pharmacogenetic testing has predictive power in the selection of antipsychotic drugs and doses tailored according to the patient’s genetic profile. In this perception pharmacogenetics could help in the improvement of treatment response by using different medicinal approaches that would avoid potential adverse effects, reduce stabilization time and will advance the prognosis of schizophrenic patients.
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