PittPharmacy faculty member James M. Stevenson, PharmD, MS, BCPP was awarded a two-year Association-Wide Mentored Clinical & Population Research Award from the American Heart Association for his application SLC6A4 polymorphisms, platelet aggregation, and clinical outcomes in ACS patients treated with SSRIs and DAPT.  The study aims to determine if selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants can improve cardiovascular health after heart attacks and whether this effect is dependent on genetic differences between individuals.

Depression is common in people with heart disease and leads to a poor prognosis. SSRIs have an antiplatelet effect that may interact with antiplatelet drugs patients take after a heart attack. Precise tailoring of antiplatelet therapy is key for these patients, because too much can lead to bleeding, and too little puts patients at risk for stroke or heart attack. Stevenson hypothesizes that genetics can be used to predict the degree of antiplatelet effect from antidepressants for an individual patient. Ideally, this knowledge will be used to personalize treatment for depressed patients with heart disease to minimize the risk of bleeding and future heart attacks.

PittPharmacy faculty members Samuel Poloyac, PharmD, PhD and Philip Empey PharmD, PhD, BCPS will act as mentors during the award period.

Stevenson is an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacy and Therapeutics and a member of the Center for Clinical Pharmaceutical Sciences.

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