Saliva Test may be Able to Predict Drug Dose Side Effects

by Rajashri on Oct 25 2008 2:55 PM

A study on whether it is possible to foresee any side effects a particular dose of a medicine can have on a patient by testing his/her saliva is being undertaken by scientists at Temple University's School of Pharmacy.

Dr. Evgeny Krynetskiy, associate professor and director of the Jayne Haines Center for Pharmacogenomics and Drug Safety, has revealed that he has thus far focused his research on one of the most widely prescribed anti-coagulant called Warfarin, as it is responsible for most of the drug reactions among patients.

"Prescribing this medicine is like trial and error in finding the right dosage that works best for you. Five milligrams is a typical dose, but a little less or a little more could have dramatic consequences or no benefit at all," he says.

The researchers believe that using DNA to customize prescriptions can prevent adverse drug reactions before you even take the first dose.

Krynetskiy says that the objective of the study is to determine why people process the same drug differently, which can be done by finding out the correlation between a person's inner code of DNA and the correct drug dosage.

"Our findings have confirmed there is a genetic variance of certain genotypes that correlate to how these participants respond to this drug. So, if you have this genotype, we can conclude what your risks may be, based on your DNA," says co-investigator Nima Patel, Pharm. D., associate professor in the School of Pharmacy.

The researchers think that their findings will allow doctors to prescribe the correct dosage of Warfarin, and decrease the risk of adverse drug reactions.