Pharmacogenetic Testing and Therapeutic Drug Monitoring Of Sertraline at a Residential Treatment Center for Children and Adolescents: A Pilot Study
Background: Sertraline is commonly prescribed to children for the treatment of anxiety and major depressive disorder and is metabolized in part by CYP2C19. While dosing recommendations based on CYP2C19 genotype exist, there is sparse data in children on the relationship between sertraline concentrations and CYP2C19 genotype. Additionally, although rarely utilized in the United States, therapeutic drug monitoring can also help to guide dosing. The primary objective of this pilot study was to compare sertraline concentrations with CYP2C19 genotype. Secondary objectives included exploring the feasibility of using pharmacogenetic testing and therapeutic drug monitoring in a residential treatment center for children and adolescents.
Methods: This study was a prospective, open-label study of children prescribed sertraline being treated at a residential treatment center for children and adolescents. Individuals were included if they were < 18 years of age, taking sertraline for at least 2 weeks allowing them to reach steady-state concentrations, being treated through the residential treatment program, and able to understand and speak English.
Results: A total of 20 participants (80% female) completed all study procedures, including pharmacogenetic testing and therapeutic drug monitoring, with an average age of 15.4 years (range: 9-17 years). Forty percent (n=8) of participants had a diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety Disorder, while 30% (n=6) had a diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder. Overall, average sertraline and desmethylsertraline concentrations were 21.1 ng/ml (range: 1-78 ng/ml) and 52.4 ng/ml (range: 1-258 n/ml). Based on CYP2C19 genotypes, 60% (n=12) were normal metabolizers, 10% (n=2) were intermediate metabolizers, and 30% (n=6) were rapid metabolizers. Daily sertraline dose (mg/day) accounted for a significant amount of the observed variability in sertraline (p<0.0001; r2=0.62) and desmethylsertraline concentrations (p<0.001; r2=0.45). When comparing weight-based dosing by sertraline and desmethylsertraline concentrations, sertraline daily dose by weight (mg/kg/day) also accounted for a significant amount of the observed variability in sertraline (p<0.0001; r2=0.60) and desmethylsertraline (p<0.0001; r2=0.59) concentrations. Average daily and weight-based doses for CYP2C19 intermediate, normal, and rapid metabolizers were 75 mg/day, 87.5 mg/day, and 79.2 mg/day and 1.5 mg/kg/day, 1.3 mg/kg/day, and 1.1 mg/kg/day, though these were not significantly different.
Conclusion: This small, pilot study showed sertraline dose to be significantly associated with sertraline and desmethylsertraline concentrations. No differences were noted between CYP2C19 metabolizer groups, likely due to the limited sample size. These results also suggest that ordering pharmacogenetic testing and therapeutic drug monitoring in the setting of a child and adolescent residential treatment center is feasible.
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