Purpose: CYP2D6 bioactivates codeine and tramadol, with intermediate and poor metabolizers (IMs and PMs) expected to have impaired analgesia. This pragmatic proof-of-concept trial tested the effects of CYP2D6-guided opioid prescribing on pain control.
Methods: Participants with chronic pain (94% on an opioid) from seven clinics were enrolled into CYP2D6-guided (n = 235) or usual care (n = 135) arms using a cluster design. CYP2D6 phenotypes were assigned based on genotype and CYP2D6 inhibitor use, with recommendations for opioid prescribing made in the CYP2D6-guided arm. Pain was assessed at baseline and 3 months using PROMIS® measures.
Results: On stepwise multiple linear regression, the primary outcome of composite pain intensity (composite of current pain and worst and average pain in the past week) among IM/PMs initially prescribed tramadol/codeine (n = 45) had greater improvement in the CYP2D6-guided versus usual care arm (-1.01 ± 1.59 vs. -0.40 ± 1.20; adj P = 0.016); 24% of CYP2D6-guided versus 0% of usual care participants reported ≥30% (clinically meaningful) reduction in the composite outcome. In contrast, among normal metabolizers prescribed tramadol or codeine at baseline, there was no difference in the change in composite pain intensity at 3 months between CYP2D6-guided (-0.61 ± 1.39) and usual care (-0.54 ± 1.69) groups (adj P = 0.540).
Conclusion: These data support the potential benefits of CYP2D6-guided pain management.
Keywords: CYP2D6; chronic pain; opioids; pharmacogenetics; precision medicine.