Article: Psychopharmacological Considerations for Gender-Affirming Hormone Therapy

The field of transgender health has grown exponentially since the early 2010s. While this increased visibility has not been without controversy, there is growing acknowledgement of the needs of transgender, nonbinary, and gender expansive (TNG) patients and the health disparities they experience compared to the cisgender population. There is also increased interest among clinicians and trainees in providing gender-affirming care in all medical specialties. This is particularly relevant in psychiatry as mental health disparities in TNG patients have been well-documented. TNG patients experience significant minority stress and higher rates of psychiatric illness, self-harm, suicidality, and psychiatric hospitalization compared to their cisgender peers. In this review, we will cover potential interactions and side effects relevant to psychiatric medication management for the three most common medication classes prescribed as part of gender-affirming hormone therapy (GAHT): gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptor agonists, estradiol, and testosterone.

Harvard Review of Psychiatry