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 Real-time feedback helps save energy and water
08.02.2017 | Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

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: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

From rocks in Colorado, evidence of a 'chaotic solar system'

23.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

'Quartz' crystals at the Earth's core power its magnetic field

23.02.2017 | Earth Sciences

Antimicrobial substances identified in Komodo dragon blood

23.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>