Pharmacogenomics coming to general practice

Pharmacogenomics is the study of genetic differences that affect an individual’s medication response and metabolism1.

Genetic variation in these processes can cause a patient to have an unexpected exposure to a medication, such as

  • unexpectedly low or high blood concentrations (despite the patient having the recommended dose)
  • unexpected lack of or excessive response to a medication (despite the blood concentration being normal)
  • severe acute reaction e.g. skin rash, hepatitis (despite the medication typically being well-tolerated).

By knowing the variations in a patient’s genes, the prescriber can select a medication and dose that ...

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