Pharmacokinetics of chlorpheniramine, phenytoin, glipizide and nifedipine in an individual homozygous for the CYP2C9*3 allele

Pharmacogenetics. 1999 Feb;9(1):71-80. doi: 10.1097/00008571-199902000-00010.


Genetic polymorphisms in the cytochrome P450 (CYP) family are widely known to contribute to interindividual differences in the pharmacokinetics of many drugs. Several alleles for the CYP2C9 gene have been reported. Individuals homozygous for the Leu359 variant (CYP2C9*3) have been shown to have significantly lower drug clearances compared with Ile359 (CYP2C9*1) homozygous individuals. A male Caucasian who participated in six bioavailability studies in our laboratory over a period of several years showed extremely low clearance of two drugs: phenytoin and glipizide (both substrates of CYP2C9), but not for nifedipine (a CYP3A4 substrate) and chlorpheniramine (a CYP2D6 substrate). His oral clearance of phenytoin was 21% of the mean of the other 11 individuals participating in the study, and his oral clearance of glipizide, a second generation sulfonylurea structurally similar to tolbutamide, was only 188% of the mean of the other 10 individuals. However, his oral clearance of nifedipine and chlorpheniramine did not differ from individuals in other studies performed at our laboratories. An additional blood sample was obtained from this individual to determine if he possessed any of the known CYP2C9 or CYP2C19 allelic variants that would account for his poor clearance of the CYP2C9 substrates (phenytoin and glipizide) compared with the CYP3A4 (nifedipine) and CYP2D6 (chlorpheniramine) substrates. The results of the genotype testing showed that this individual was homozygous for the CYP2C9*3 allele and did not possess any of the known defective CYP2C19 alleles. This study establishes that the Leu359 mutation is responsible for the phenytoin and glipizide/tolbutamide poor metabolizer phenotype.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alleles
  • Aryl Hydrocarbon Hydroxylases*
  • Chlorpheniramine / blood
  • Chlorpheniramine / pharmacokinetics*
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2C9
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / genetics*
  • Genotype
  • Glipizide / blood
  • Glipizide / pharmacokinetics*
  • Homozygote
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nifedipine / blood
  • Nifedipine / pharmacokinetics*
  • Phenotype
  • Phenytoin / blood
  • Phenytoin / pharmacokinetics*
  • Steroid 16-alpha-Hydroxylase*
  • Steroid Hydroxylases / genetics*


  • Chlorpheniramine
  • Phenytoin
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System
  • Steroid Hydroxylases
  • CYP2C9 protein, human
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2C9
  • Aryl Hydrocarbon Hydroxylases
  • Steroid 16-alpha-Hydroxylase
  • Nifedipine
  • Glipizide