Pharmacogenetics and adverse drug reactions

Lancet. 2000 Nov 11;356(9242):1667-71. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(00)03167-6.


Polymorphisms in the genes that code for drug-metabolising enzymes, drug transporters, drug receptors, and ion channels can affect an individual's risk of having an adverse drug reaction, or can alter the efficacy of drug treatment in that individual. Mutant alleles at a single gene locus are the best studied individual risk factors for adverse drug reactions, and include many genes coding for drug-metabolising enzymes. These genetic polymorphisms of drug metabolism produce the phenotypes of "poor metabolisers" or "ultrarapid metabolisers" of numerous drugs. Together, such phenotypes make up a substantial proportion of the population. Pharmacogenomic techniques allow efficient analysis of these risk factors, and genotyping tests have the potential to optimise drug therapy in the future.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions* / genetics
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / metabolism
  • Pharmacogenetics*
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Receptors, Drug / genetics
  • Risk Factors


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • Receptors, Drug