Pharmacogenetics

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Pharmacogenetics is the study of how a patient’s genetic variability can effect drug treatment. Genetic variation can have an effect of the outcome of drug treatment, for example via drug metabolism [1]. Drug type and dosage are currently adapted to accommodate differences in patient age, liver and renal function [2] and it is anticipated that pharmacogenetics can be used in the same way to maximise the efficacy of drug treatment as well as reduce the incidence of adverse drug responses [3]

Implementation of pharmacogenetics requires knowledge of the genotypic and phenotypic information relating to disease as well as an in-depth understanding of the mechanism of action of the drug [4]. Once this information has been established it is possible to create a tailor-made drug treatment specific to the individual [5].

While cost is currently a major factor preventing wide scale use of pharmacogenetics, it is expected that in the future as the cost of DNA sampling, DNA sequencing and analysis will decrease as technological advances in the field are made therefore reducing the costs associated with the implementation of pharmacogenetics on a wider scale [6].

References:

  1. KM, Johnson JA, et al. Pharmacogenomics: challenges and opportunities. Ann Intern Med. 2006;145(10):749–57. Roden DM, Altman RB, Benowitz NL, Flockhart DA, Giacomini
  2. Pharm. World Sci. 2010 Nov 4. ‘From evidence based medicine to mechanism based medicine. Reviewing the role of pharmacogenetics’, Wilffert B, Swen J, Mulder H, Touw D, Maitland-Van der Zee AH, Deneer V; KNMP working group Pharmacogenetics, DOI 10.1007/s11096-010-9446-1
  3. KM, Johnson JA, et al. Pharmacogenomics: challenges and opportunities. Ann Intern Med. 2006;145(10):749–57. Roden DM, Altman RB, Benowitz NL, Flockhart DA, Giacomini
  4. Becquemont L. Pharmacogenomics of adverse drug reactions: practical applications and perspectives. Pharmacogenomics. 2009;10(6):961–9.
  5. KM, Johnson JA, et al. Pharmacogenomics: challenges and opportunities. Ann Intern Med. 2006;145(10):749–57. Roden DM, Altman RB, Benowitz NL, Flockhart DA, Giacomini
  6. Pharm. World Sci. 2010 Nov 4. ‘From evidence based medicine to mechanism based medicine. Reviewing the role of pharmacogenetics’, Wilffert B, Swen J, Mulder H, Touw D, Maitland-Van der Zee AH, Deneer V; KNMP working group Pharmacogenetics, DOI 10.1007/s11096-010-9446-1
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