The majority of phase I- and phase II-dependent drug metabolism is carried out by polymorphic enzymes which can cause abolished, quantitatively or qualitatively decreased or enhanced drug metabolism. Several examples exist where subjects carrying certain alleles do not benefit from drug therapy due to ultrarapid metabolism caused by multiple genes or by induction of gene expression or, alternatively, suffer from adverse effects of the drug treatment due to the presence of defective alleles. It is likely that future predictive genotyping for such enzymes might benefit 15–25% of drug treatments, and thereby allow prevention of adverse drug reactions and causalities, and thus improve the health of a significant fraction of the patients. However, it will take time before this will be a reality within the clinic. We describe some important aspects in the field with emphasis on cytochrome P450 and discuss also polymorphic aspects of foetal expression of CYP3A5 and CYP3A7.
One contribution of 12 to a Discussion Meeting Issue ‘Genetic variation and human health’.
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