Individual genetic differences in drug metabolism in pain medication can lead to severe toxicity or therapeutic failure.
The International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) defines pain as an "unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage or described in terms of such damage." The current analgesic strategies for treating chronic pain and cancer pain are based on the World Health Organizations (WHO) 1990 analgesic ladder, in which nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or other nonopioid (non-synthetic) analgesics are used first, then followed by a stepwise progression to centrally acting analgesics. But is this general approach to care the best approach? The answer may be as individual as ones genetics and metabolism.
A New Study Underway
A new study is now underway that explores the relationship between pain and selected medications. It is entitled, "Is Pharmacogenetics the Answer for Pain Management?; Evaluation of the Clinical Efficacy of Genotyping CYP2D6 Variant Alleles for Chronic Pain Patients on Analgesic Therapy, and Monitoring of Plasma Drug Concentrations." The status of the research will be presented by the primary investigator, Paul Jannetto, Ph.D., Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI. Dr. Jannetto will make his remarks during the 55th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) in Philadelphia, PA July 20-24, 2003. More than 16,000 are expected to attend.
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