Biological Differences in Depression and Anxiety Across Races and Ethnic Groups




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A growing number of studies clearly indicate the importance of race and ethnicity in the psychopharmacologic management of depression and anxiety disorders. The data highlight important pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic, and pharmacogenetic ethnic differences that may have profound implications for the efficacy and safety of psychotropic therapies. General treatment considerations based on these differences include greater attention to adverse event profiles, the possibility of improved clinical response at any given dose, and the potential need for lower starting doses and slower increases in dosage. Continued research in this area is clinically important as patients with increasingly divergent ethnic and cultural backgrounds seek treatment for a range of depressive and anxiety disorders.

J Clin Psychiatry 2001;62(suppl 13):13-19