Targeting psychiatric medication side effects in the digital era: understanding and implementing the evidence

Toby Pillinger, Anneka Tomlinson, Robert McCutcheon,Iris Sommer

75 minutes


July 2023

Congress Webinar 2023


There are important inter-individual differences in pharmacological psychiatric treatment effects, including significant heterogeneity between men and women in both efficacy and tolerability. Side-effects of psychotropics impair quality of life, contribute to morbidity/mortality rates, increase stigma, and result in poor medication concordance and thus psychiatric relapse. Novel approaches to classifying psychotropics based on mechanism of action and side-effect profiles are required, to facilitate personalised treatment approaches and drug development.

In this masterclass, Dr Anneka Tomlinson will reflect on new network meta-analytic data that ranks antidepressants, stimulants, and hypnotics based on specific side-effects and overall tolerability; she will also describe the development and validation of the ‘Oxford Antidepressant Adverse Event Dictionary’, a clinically relevant and disorder-specific adverse-event classification system that enables meaningful comparisons between drugs. Dr Rob McCutcheon will describe a new data-driven method of antipsychotic and antidepressant classification, based upon compound pharmacology, before going on to present new digital tools, Psymatik ‘Side Effect Balancers’, which combine network meta-analytic side-effect data for psychotropics with patient preference, to facilitate evidence-based, personalised, and multidimensional prescription decision-making. Finally, Professor Iris Sommer will explore age and sex differences in the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of psychotropics, with implications for clinical practice.

This session will help you:

- Understand how modern evidence-based psychiatry employs network meta-analytic data to rank treatments based on both efficacy and side effect profiles to guide clinical practice.

- Understand how psychiatric medication dose, side effect burden, and efficacy are moderated by age and sex, with implications for clinical practice.

- Understand how new digital tools can facilitate personalised, evidence-based, and multi-dimensional prescription decision making.


Chair: Toby Pillinger, King's College London, United Kingdom

Anneka Tomlinson, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Robert McCutcheon, King's College London, United Kingdom


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