Journal of Undergraduate Research


pharmacogentic principles, prescription medications, nurse practitioners




Pharmacogenetics is the study of the relationship between genetics and the metabolism of medications. Some classes of drugs have been shown to be metabolized differently in people of specific genetic profiles, with gene markers correlating to the differences in metabolism. For example, patients taking simvastatin have a modest increase in myopathy risk even with lower doses of simvastatin if they have the C allele at SLCO1B1 rs4149056, compared with other alleles. This would be significant to the provider who prescribes a statin drug to patients. The provider, ideally, would be aware that certain patients have an increased risk for myopathy and would encourage the patient to obtain a genetic screening. This screening would then be used to adjust the dose of the drug, if necessary. Many allele variations have been found to have pharmacological ramifications and prescribers are better able to serve their clients when they are aware of the risks and can access the clients’ genetic profiles. The differences in metabolism can range from more rapid metabolism of a drug, slower metabolism of a drug, and outright contraindications for a drug. A contraindication is a reason for which a drug should not be given to a patient, such as an allergy or hypersensitivity. Some drugs are never given to certain types of patients, the risks outweighing potential benefits.

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