Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Genes’ influence on common drugs may affect health-care quality, cost

09.01.2006


Chances are good that a medication you take is one of several drugs that can be affected by genetic factors, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the St. Louis College of Pharmacy. They found that 29 percent of patients seen at local primary-care offices had taken at least one of 16 drugs that can cause adverse reactions in genetically susceptible people.



Finding that so many primary-care patients use such medications suggests that pharmacogenetics—the study of the interplay between genes and drugs—has the potential to benefit a large portion of the population, according to the researchers. Applying information from pharmacogenetics to primary-care practices could reduce the incidence of adverse reactions and optimize treatments, according to the study, published in the January 2006 issue of the journal Pharmacogenomics.

"Until now, researchers looking at the role of genetic variation in drug effects have focused mainly on toxic drugs used by specialists treating cancer or HIV infection," says Howard L. McLeod, Pharm.D., director of the pharmacology core at the Siteman Cancer Center at Washington University School of Medicine and Barnes-Jewish Hospital. "We knew that some of the drugs commonly used in the family practice setting can cause adverse reactions in people who have certain genetic variations, so we measured just how often these drugs are used."


The study found that of the 607 outpatients surveyed at three primary-care sites in the metropolitan St. Louis area, 174 were on a drug commonly associated with severe side effects. Among these drugs are fluoxetine (Prozac™), metoprolol (a beta-blocker), diltiazem (used to treat high blood pressure), and warfarin (an anticoagulant).

Each of these drugs is metabolized by genes known to vary within the population. Genetic variations that change the properties of enzymes that break down drugs or mark them for excretion can cause adverse drug reactions.

Potentially harmful reactions to the medications examined in this study include gastrointestinal bleeding, cerebrovascular hemorrhages, kidney impairment, dizziness, low blood pressure and slowed heart beat. The number and severity of adverse reactions to the drugs surveyed was not measured in this study; however, a 1998 study ranked adverse drug reactions as among the top ten leading causes of death in the United States.

Other genetic variations in the population are known to alter proteins that transport drugs or change cellular mechanisms targeted by drugs, rendering the drugs ineffective. While not leading to adverse reactions, these genetic factors can also affect health care.

"We think it’s likely that using pharmacogenetics in the primary-care setting can reduce health care costs," says McLeod, who is also professor of medicine, of genetics, and of molecular biology and pharmacology at the School of Medicine. "The information could help family physicians make better decisions about the right drugs and dosages to prescribe for their patients, making it possible to avoid unnecessary prescriptions and to minimize the costs of hospital treatments for adverse reactions."

In an editorial in the same journal, Deepak Voora, M.D., chief medical resident, and Brian F. Gage, M.D., associate professor of medicine, assert that guidance from primary-care physicians will be important to winning patients’ acceptance of the genetic testing necessary to apply pharmacogenetics to family care practice.

"The primary-care physician is the main advocate for the patient and who patients will look to for advice about pharmacogenetics testing," Voora says. "The way they handle pharmacogenetic information can alleviate patients’ fears concerning privacy and access to medical records by employers and insurance agencies."

Gwen Ericson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wustl.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>