“Although people are known to metabolize methadone differently, researchers have not completely understood how a person’s genetic makeup influences how slowly or rapidly the drug is cleared.
Now, new research has identified genetic subtypes in people that govern methadone clearance. If genetic testing is made available to patients prescribed the drug, the new findings could help prevent some of the 5,000 deaths in the US each year due to methadone overdoses.
Surprisingly, the researchers found that African Americans in the study were more likely than Caucasians to have higher methadone concentrations in the blood despite being given equal dosages. They also showed that African Americans more frequently had the gene variant linked to slower-than-normal clearance of methadone and less frequently had a genetic variant linked to faster methadone metabolism than Caucasians.
“We think that may explain why African Americans and Caucasian patients typically clear methadone at different rates,” he says.
Read more at: http://www.futurity.org/methadone-genes-1033782-2/
Source: Futurity.org – October 26, 2015