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Home Industry News Painkiller side-effects ‘could be genetic’

Painkiller side-effects ‘could be genetic’

9th January 2006

The variability in the way people respond to painkilling drugs could be down to their genetic make-up, and could therefore allow doctors to tailor drugs to prevent an increase in cardiovascular risk, according to a new study.

Published in the latest issue of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), the study found the difference in the way people respond to painkillers ? especially rofecoxib (Vioxx, Merck) and celecoxib (Celebrex, Pfizer), which are known as COX-2 inhibitors ? could be down to genetic make-up in as much as 30 per cent of cases.

This information could therefore influence which drugs could be used to treat pain and inflammation, without the heightened risk of heart disease.

“The use of any drug involves a mix of benefits and risks. The problems with COX-2 inhibitors were real, but involved less than two per cent of patients who were taking them,” said Dr Garret FitzGerald lead author of the study.

He added: “Because we often underestimate just how much people differ in their response to the same dose of the same drug, there is a need to develop diagnostic methods to identify those patients at an increased risk of cardiovascular events and explore this variability in drug response to move toward an individualised approach in drug development.”

The researchers hope that this study will provide an impetus for more research into the side effects of painkilling drugs, and the ability of doctors to identify which patients are more likely to benefit or suffer from harmful side effects of the drugs.

? 2006, Adfero Ltd
Source: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=35812

track© Adfero Ltd

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