Combined Effect of CYP2B6 Genotype and Other Candidate Genes on a Steady-State Serum Concentration of Methadone in Opioid Maintenance Treatment

Ther Drug Monit. 2017 Oct;39(5):550-555. doi: 10.1097/FTD.0000000000000437.


Background: A considerable interindividual variability in methadone pharmacokinetics is seen in patients on methadone maintenance treatment. The aim of this study was to clarify the impact of the reduced function CYP2B6*6 variant allele together with variants in other candidate genes on a steady-state methadone concentration in a naturalistic setting.

Methods: Information of methadone serum concentration, dose, age, sex, and CYP2C9, CYP2C19, and CYP2D6 genotypes were collected from a routine therapeutic drug monitoring database, whereas variant alleles in CYP2B6 and CYP3A5 were retrospectively genotyped. Linear mixed model analyses were used to study the impact of gene variants on methadone serum concentration/dose (C/D) ratios, including age, sex, and time since the last dose intake as covariates.

Results: Overall, 155 serum samples from 62 patients were included in this study. The estimated mean methadone C/D ratios was 17.8 nmol·L·mg for homozygous carriers of CYP2B6*6, which was significantly (P < 0.001) higher than noncarriers (9.2 nmol·L·mg). There was no difference in C/D ratios between heterozygous carriers of CYP2B6*6 (9.1 nmol·L·mg) and noncarriers. An increase in mean methadone C/D ratios was also seen for homozygous carriers of CYP3A5*3 and heterozygous carriers of CYP2C9*2 or *3 and CYP2C19*2 or *3.

Conclusions: Patients homozygous for CYP2B6*6 had a >90% higher methadone C/D ratio. Genotyping of CYP2B6 may therefore be of value when assessing dose requirements in methadone maintenance treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alleles
  • Analgesics, Opioid / therapeutic use*
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2B6 / genetics*
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2C19 / genetics
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2C9 / genetics
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP3A / genetics
  • Drug Monitoring / methods
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Heterozygote
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methadone / blood*
  • Methadone / therapeutic use*
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / blood
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / drug therapy
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / genetics
  • Polymorphism, Genetic / genetics
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2C9
  • CYP2B6 protein, human
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2B6
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2C19
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP3A
  • Methadone