Pharmacogenetics: a tool for identifying genetic factors in drug dependence and response to treatment

Addict Sci Clin Pract. 2010 Dec;5(2):17-29.


Pharmacogenetics research looks at variations in the human genome and ways in which genetic factors might influence how individuals respond to drugs. The authors review basic principles of pharmacogenetics and cite findings from several gene-phenotype studies to illustrate possible associations between genetic variants, drug-related behaviors, and risk for drug dependence. Some gene variants affect responses to one drug; others, to various drugs. Pharmacogenetics can inform medication development and personalized treatment strategies; challenges lie along the pathway to its general use in clinical practice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Drug Design
  • Drug Therapy / methods*
  • Genetic Markers
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Humans
  • Pharmacogenetics*
  • Phenotype
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Substance-Related Disorders / genetics*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / metabolism


  • Genetic Markers