Abstract The drug-transporting P-glycoprotein transports drugs against a concentration gradient across the blood–brain barrier back into the plasma and thereby reduces the bioavailability in the brain. Polymorphisms in the MDR1 gene regulating P-glycoprotein expression can be associated with differences in drug disposition in the brain. The present study was therefore designed to examine whether the major polymorphisms of MDR1 gene, C3435T and G2677T/A are related to therapeutic response to neuroleptics in the treatment of schizophrenia. Subjects consisted of 31 acutely exacerbated schizophrenic inpatients treated with bromperidol (6–18 mg/day). Plasma drug concentrations were monitored and clinical symptoms were evaluated using the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) before and 3 weeks after the treatment. The C3435T and G2677T/A genotypes were determined by a polymerase chain reaction method. Schizophrenic symptoms were allocated into 5 clusters: positive, excitement, cognitive, negative, and anxiety–depression symptoms. Patients were C/C in 12, C/T in 12 and T/T in 7 cases for C3435T genotype and G/G in 3, G/T or A in 17 and T or A/T or A in 11 cases for G2677T/A genotype. There were a tendency of difference, but not statistically different, in the percentage improvement or the improved scores of 5 sub-grouped symptoms after the 3-week treatment between C3435T genotypes and between G2677T/A genotypes. Multiple regression analyses including age, body weight, gender and drug concentration showed significant correlations between the percentage improvement and the improved scores of cognitive symptoms and C3435T genotypes. The present results suggest that the C3435T polymorphism is associated with some therapeutic response to bromperidol in schizophrenic patients, possibly by different drug concentration in the brain.