People who take anti clotting drugs like warfarin may react differently to the drug because of their genetic makeup.
A sizable population of the world takes anti clotting medications in the event of heart attacks, stroke or major surgery to check harmful clotting of blood. However the difference in the reactions to the drugs have foxed the physicians for long and made it difficult to standardize the proper dosage of the drug. A little change in dose often may result in more reactions to blood flow.
Researchers of University of Washington in Seattle had discovered the variations in a gene that alters the way people respond to blood clotting medications. The gene encodes the CYP2C9 enzyme that metabolizes the anti clot drug and thus accounts for almost 10% variations of the reactions to the drug warfarin.
When are patients are tested for variations in reactions to medications, the tests mostly concentrate on the sex, age, weight and medical history of the patients. It may take months of visits to the physicians to find out the right dose for the patient even then. Genetic variations are often not considered here. The new research will emphasize the study of people's reaction to medications and their genetic coding, also called pharmacogenetics.
Reference: National Institutes of Health, news release, June 2005