The short (S) allele of the serotonin transporter gene-linked polymorphic region (5HTTLPR) has been associated with poorer antidepressant response in major depressive disorder (MDD) and with antidepressant-induced mania. This study investigated a possible association with treatment-emergent insomnia or agitation.
Thirty-six outpatients with MDD were genotyped at 5HTTLPR and treated with open-label fluoxetine up to 60 mg/day. Treatment-emergent adverse effects were assessed at each study visit.
Of nine subjects homozygous for the “S” allele, seven (78%) developed new or worsening insomnia, versus 6 of 27 (22%) non-“S”-homozygous subjects (Fisher’s exact p = .005). Similarly, six of nine subjects homozygous for the “S” allele (67%) developed agitation, versus 2 of 27 (7%) of non-“S”-homozygous subjects (Fisher’s exact p = .001).
The “S” allele of the 5HTTLPR may identify patients at risk for developing insomnia or agitation with fluoxetine treatment. This preliminary result requires confirmation in larger samples.
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Accepted: April 14, 2003
Received in revised form: April 1, 2003
Received: December 12, 2002
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