What is Pharmacogenetics?

Pharmacogenetics is the study of how genes affect a person's response to medicines. This relatively new field combines genomics (the science of medicines and their relationship with genes) and, pharmacogenetics (the study of C-450 genes and their functions) to develop safe and effective medications and dosages that will be tailored to the genetic makeup of a person.

Many medications that are currently available are "one size fits all", but do not work as same way for everyone. It can be difficult to predict who will benefit from a medication, who will not respond at all, and who will experience side effects negative reactions (called adverse drug reactions).

The reactions adverse drug reactions can lead to hospitalization and even deaths. With the knowledge obtained from the Human Genome Project, the researchers are learning how inherited differences in genes affect the body's response to medications.

This differences Genetic tests will be used to predict whether a drug will be effective for a individual and to help prevent adverse reactions to medicines.


The field of the Pharmacogenetics is still in its infancy, but new approaches are being studied and implemented in clinical trials. Pharmacogenomics is developing tailor-made drugs to treat a wide range of health problems, including diseases cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's disease, cancer, HIV / AIDS and asthma.

Advantages provided by Pharmacogenetics:

- Have a tool to apply personalized treatments, through the pharmacogenetic study of each person.

- Obtain a better therapeutic response.

- Shorten treatment periods and, in admitted patients, reduce hospital stays by prescribing medication suitable for each patient.

- Reduce the number of accidents and deaths due to adverse drug reactions and interactions in polypharmacy.

- Reduce economic costs for medications ineffective.

- Improve efficiency in clinical trials in phases III and IV.

- Optimize the health and well-being of the patient.

- Avoid overdose and its corresponding toxic and neurotoxic effects produced by the deficient metabolization of the enzymes of the cytochrome 450 genes.

Pharmacogenetics constitutes an effective aid to “prescribe the appropriate medication for each patient, based on their genetic polymorphisms”, in order to avoid possible adverse effects or therapeutic failures for the patient.