"Treatment resistance" enigma resolved by pharmacogenomics - A case study of clozapine therapy in schizophrenia

Nadja P. Marić, Slobodanka Pejović Nikolić, Ivana Buzadžić, Milica Jovičić, Sanja Andrić, Marina Mihaljević, Zorana Pavlović

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The introduction of antipsychotic medication in the 1950s forever changed the outlook on the treatment of schizophrenia, although there is still a large proportion of patients who do not reach functional recovery. At least 30% of patients do not respond to clozapine, the tricyclic dibenzodiazepine with complex pharmacological actions, which was proven to be more effective than any other antipsychotic in the treatment of schizophrenia. According to most of the therapeutic guidelines for schizophrenia, clozapine is the third line therapy for patients who did not respond to other antipsychotics. Large inter-individual variability exists for clozapine bioavailability and plasma steadystate concentrations and clearance. Clozapine is metabolized by the cytochrome P450 oxidase enzyme family (CYP450). Cytochrome P450 1A2 (CYP1A2), which is polymorphically expressed in humans, is the main enzyme of clozapine metabolism. This case report addresses the influence of CYP1A2∗1F genetic polymorphism on cloza - pine metabolism, explains the primary non-response of a young patient with schizophrenia due to increased gene expression in homozygous genotype ∗1F/∗1F (increased metabolism of clozapine) and underlies the importance of personalizing schizophrenia treatment by means of genetic and other molecular tools, at least in the cases of "treatment resistance".

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-227
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Medical Biochemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • clozapine
  • CYP1A2
  • personalized medicine
  • pharmacogenomics
  • schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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