An Article on Pharmacogenetics
About Authors:Kisananad Vishwakarma,
Pharmacogenetics is generally regarded as the study or clinical testing of genetic variation that gives rise to differing response to drugs. It refers to genetic differences in metabolic pathways which can affect individual responses to drugs. Much of current clinical interest is at the level of pharmacogenetics, involving variation in genes involved in, drug metabolism with a particular emphasis on improving drug safety. The wider use of pharmacogenetic testing is viewed by many as an outstanding opportunity to improve prescribing safety and efficacy.
The term pharmacogenetics comes from the combination of two words: pharmacology and genetics.
• Pharmacology is the study of how drugs work in the body and genetics is the study of how characteristics that result from the action of a single gene or of several genes acting together are inherited and how they work in the cells of the body
• Therefore, pharmacogenetics is the study of genetic factors that influence how a drug works
The goal of pharmacogenetics is to understand the role that an individual’s genetic make-up plays in how well a medicine works, as well as what side effects are likely to occur in the individual’s
Some potential benefits of pharmacogenetics:
• More powerful medicines:
• Safer drugs the first time:
• More accurate methods of determining dosages:
• Better vaccines:
– Pharmacogenetics is the science that underpins understanding the role that an individual’s genetic make-up plays in how well a medicine works, as well as what side effects are likely to occur
– Development of drugs that maximise therapeutic effects but decrease damage to nearby healthy cells
– More accurate methods of determining dosages
– Determine drug responses in the treatment of cardiac, respiratory and psychiatric conditions
– Develop targeted drugs in areas such as psychiatry, dementia, cardiac conditions and in the treatment of breast and other cancers.
– Many genes are likely to be involved in how someone reacts to a drug, making targeting different drugs very complex
– Identification of the small variations in everyone’s genes that may influence drug metabolism or how the condition develops is very difficult and time consuming
– The interactions with other drugs and environmental factors will need to be determined before any conclusions are made about the genetic influence on how the drug is working.
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2. Malhotra AK. The state of pharmacogenetics. Psychiatr Times. 2010;27(4):38-41, 62.
3. Gulzar A. Niazi and S. Riaz-ud-Din. (2006). Biotechnology and Genomics in Medicine - A Review World Journal of Medical Sciences 1 (2): 72-81.
Reference ID: PHARMATUTOR-ART-1033
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