Research Group Drug Safety in Psychiatry (AMSP)

of the Klinik for Psychiatry, Social Psychiatry and Psychotherapy


The number of patients investigated in clinical trials prior to the marketing approval of a drug is limited and may not sufficiently reflect everyday clinical practice due to the artificial setting of such trials. The post-marketing surveillance of a drug is therefore of particular importance.

According to the definition of the World Health Organization (WHO), pharmacovigilance comprises the analysis and prevention of drug risks and the development of activities that serve to discover, evaluate, understand, and prevent adverse drug reactions (ADRs). The detection and analysis of serious ADRs and their prevention are therefore also part of „culture of error" in hospitals.

Aims of the research group

The primary aim of the AMSP-Project (Arzneimittelsicherheit in der Psychiatrie) is the continuous improvement of drug safety within psychopharmacology. Currently more than 50 hospitals in Germany, Switzerland and Austria are participating in the AMSP project and collect severe adverse drug reactions (ADR) occurring under treatment with psychotropic drugs (non-interventional).

After their detection, ADRs are further analyzed and causality is established.  Incidence rates of ADRs and specific risk-benefit assessment for subclasses of psychotropic drugs as well as individual drugs are determined and compared with one another.

Main focus points are the relevance of drug-drug-interactions, at-risk drug combinations, polypharmacy, relevant patient-related variables (age, gender), and pharmacogenetics (polymorphisms) within psychopharmacological treatment.

Further, the AMSP project is designed to inform about clinically relevant and/or new ADRs. Surveillance of drug therapy in psychiatry is an integral part of quality assurance in the treatment of patients but also as part of clinical risk management. Drug safety should be considered a cornerstone of extensive patient safety.

Scientific leadership:

Dr. med. Sermin Toto, geschäftsführende Oberärztin, Fachärztin für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie
Telefon: 0511 / 532-2403


Secretary's office:

Marzena Schaefer
Telefon: 0511 / 532-5565
Telefax: 0511 / 532-18573