What Is Pharmacogenomics?
Pharmacogenomic research examines genetic variations to identify possible links between drug safety and efficacy. It focuses on identifying genes that are associated with specific diseases. To treat a specific disease, drugs can be developed that target specific mutations within a gene. Among the main targets of this type of research are antidepressants, antiarrhythmic drugs, and antipsychotic drugs. As many as 70 variant alleles are known to exist in the human genome. Some contain point mutations, while others have gene duplications or deletions that can increase or decrease enzyme activity.
Pharmacogenomic research can also identify genes that cause adverse drug reactions, which could lead to life-saving medications. This knowledge can help doctors distinguish between different types of disease and determine the best treatment options for patients. Ultimately, pharmacogenomic research can help doctors select the right medication and dosage for each patient.
While there are only a few pharmacogenomic tests available today, the field is growing rapidly. With proper guidance, pharmacogenomics can be used to help physicians use medications more safely. It is important to talk with your healthcare provider if you suspect you may have a genetic condition, or are taking prescription medication for one.