Pharmacogenetics of Methadone Response

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© 2017, Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature. The efficacy of methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) in opioid use disorder is well established but responses vary. The influence of methadone pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics on dose requirements and program outcomes remains controversial despite the increasing number of studies evaluating genetic influences on response to methadone treatment. Furthermore, patients require different doses (usually between 60 and 100 mg/day), and there are no clear data on a plasma concentration associated with treatment success. We review the evidence regarding the influence of genetics on pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic factors in terms of MMT outcome. We also analyse the influence of genetics on the occurrence of severe adverse events such as respiratory depression and ventricular arrhythmia in methadone treatment. The outcomes of MMT may be influenced by a combination of environmental, drug-induced, and genetic factors. The influence of pharmacokinetic genetic variability can be clinically managed by modifying the posology. A better understanding of pharmacodynamic factors could help in selecting the best opioid for substitution treatment, but patient phenotype must still be considered when establishing a maintenance treatment. Pharmacogenetic studies represent a promising field that aims to individualize treatments according to genetic backgrounds, adapting medication and doses according to possible outcomes and the risk of adverse events.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-78
JournalMolecular Diagnosis and Therapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018


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