Introduction to pharmacogenetics: What is it and how does it work?

4/24/20231 min read

LPharmacogenetics is a branch of genetics that studies how genetic variations can influence the way individuals respond to drugs. In other words, it is about understanding how each person's genetics can affect the efficacy and safety of a drug treatment.

Each person has a unique combination of genes that can influence how their body processes drugs. These genes can affect the absorption, distribution, metabolism and elimination of drugs, which may explain why some people experience serious side effects, while others do not experience them at all.

For example, certain genetic variants can influence the activity of liver enzymes responsible for metabolizing drugs, which may cause a person to need a higher or lower dose of a particular drug. Other genes can influence the immune system's response to drugs, which can increase the risk of allergic reactions.

Pharmacogenetics uses tools and techniques from molecular genetics and bioinformatics to identify genetic variants that may influence an individual's response to drugs. These variants can be used to guide drug selection and dosing, which can improve the efficacy and safety of treatments.

In short, pharmacogenetics is a discipline that studies how an individual's genetics can influence the way they respond to drugs. By identifying genetic variants, pharmacogenetics can help to personalize treatments and improve their efficacy and safety.

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