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Review
. 2020 Feb 6;22(2):18.
doi: 10.1007/s11912-020-0865-4.

Pharmacogenomics of Pain Management: The Impact of Specific Biological Polymorphisms on Drugs and Metabolism

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Review

Pharmacogenomics of Pain Management: The Impact of Specific Biological Polymorphisms on Drugs and Metabolism

Elyse M Cornett et al. Curr Oncol Rep. .

Abstract

Purpose of review: Pain is multifactorial and complex, often with a genetic component. Pharmacogenomics is a relative new field, which allows for the development of a truly unique and personalized therapeutic approach in the treatment of pain.

Recent findings: Until recently, drug mechanisms in humans were determined by testing that drug in a population and calculating response averages. However, some patients will inevitably fall outside of those averages, and it is nearly impossible to predict who those outliers might be. Pharmacogenetics considers a patient's unique genetic information and allows for anticipation of that individual's response to medication. Pharmacogenomic testing is steadily making progress in the management of pain by being able to identify individual differences in the perception of pain and susceptibility and sensitivity to drugs based on genetic markers. This has a huge potential to increase efficacy and reduce the incidence of iatrogenic drug dependence and addiction. The streamlining of relevant polymorphisms of genes encoding receptors, transporters, and drug-metabolizing enzymes influencing the pain phenotype can be an important guide to develop safe new strategies and approaches to personalized pain management. Additionally, some challenges still prevail and preclude adoption of pharmacogenomic testing universally. These include lack of knowledge about pharmacogenomic testing, inadequate standardization of the process of data handling, questionable benefits about the clinical and financial aspects of pharmacogenomic testing-guided therapy, discrepancies in clinical evidence supporting these tests, and doubtful reimbursement of the tests by health insurance agencies.

Keywords: Genes; Opioids; Pharmacogenetics; Pharmacogenomics; pain management.

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