Navigation Links
Stanford study shows opiates' side effects rooted in patients' genetics
Date:6/20/2012

STANFORD, Calif. Genetics play a significant role in determining which patients will suffer the most from the disturbing side effects of opiates, commonly prescribed painkillers for severe to moderate pain, according to a new Stanford University School of Medicine study, which pinpoints nausea, slowed breathing and potential for addiction as heritable traits.

"One of the most hated side effects of these opiates, nausea, is strongly inherited," said Martin Angst, MD, professor of anesthesia and one of two principal investigators for the new study, which explores individual variations in the response to opiate use. The study will be published online June 20 in Anesthesiology. Genetics also play a likely role in determining which patients will suffer from itchiness and sedation associated with the use of these powerful medications, which include morphine, methadone and oxycodone.

"The study is a significant step forward in efforts to understand the basis of individual variability in response to opioids and to eventually personalize opioid treatment plans for patients," said Angst, director of the Stanford Human Pain Research Laboratory. "Our findings strongly encourage the use of downstream molecular genetics to identify patients who are more likely or less likely to benefit from these drugs to help make decisions on how aggressive you want to be with treatment, how carefully you monitor patients and whether certain patients are suitable candidates for prolonged treatment."

Treatment with opiates, also known as narcotics, is tricky because of this variability in drug response. Certain patients may require 10 times the amount of these painkillers to get the same level of pain relief as others. In fact, in some patients the occurrence of side effects may prevent the use of opioids for effectively alleviating pain. Side effects such as nausea or sedation can be debilitating to some, while nonexistent for others. Similarly, some patients can take medications for months with little addiction potential, while others are at risk within weeks.

Millions of U.S. patients are prescribed opiates for pain each year. A better understanding of the potential risk of side effects motivated the researchers to explore individual variation in pairs of identical and fraternal twins, Angst said. The study was prompted by past genetic studies in animals that have shown a strong genetic component in the response to opiates.

"We rely heavily on narcotics as the cornerstone medication for the relief of pain," said Angst. "Yet we don't know the answers to fundamental questions, such as why some people 'like' narcotics more than others drug liking and disliking could be key in determining addiction potential."

Researchers recruited 121 twin pairs for the randomized, double-blinded and placebo-controlled study. Pain sensitivity and analgesic response were measured by applying a heat probe and by immersing a hand in ice-cold water, both before and during an infusion of the opiate alfentanil, a short-acting painkiller prescribed by anesthesiologists. The team also compared individual variations in levels of sedation, mental acuity, respiratory depression, nausea, itch, and drug-liking/disliking a surrogate measure of addiction potential between identical twins, non-identical twins and non-related subjects. This provided an estimate of the extent to which variations in responses to opiates are inherited. For example, the finding that identical twins are more similar in their responses to opiates than non-identical twins suggested inheritance plays a significant role.

Heritability was found to account for 30 percent of the variability for respiratory depression, 59 percent of the variability for nausea and 36 percent for drug disliking. Additionally, up to 38 percent for itchiness, 32 percent for dizziness and 26 percent for drug-liking could be due to heritable factors. An earlier study published by the same researchers in the March issue of Pain reported that genetics accounted for 60 percent of the variability in the effectiveness of opiates in relieving pain.

"Since side effects are common among patients who use opioid medications, it will be beneficial to use such research to help at-risk patients avoid serious, life-threatening complications," said David Clark, MD, PhD, professor of anesthesia and the other principal investigator for the study.


'/>"/>

Contact: Ruthann Richter
richter1@stanford.edu
650-725-8047
Stanford University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Proposed testosterone testing of some female olympians challenged by Stanford scientists
2. Stanford researchers discover the African cichlids noisy courtship ritual
3. Antioxidant shows promise as treatment for certain features of autism, Stanford study finds
4. New type of retinal prosthesis could better restore sight to blind, Stanford study says
5. Invasive heart test being dramatically overused, Stanford study shows
6. NIH study finds HIV-positive young men at risk of low bone mass
7. More Than Half of Resident Docs Have Worked While Sick: Study
8. Teen Drinkers May Feel Like Social Outcasts: Study
9. Giving makes young children happy, UBC study suggests
10. Study finds that single mothers can reduce stress by playing, engaging with children
11. Study: Willingness to be screened for dementia varies by age but not by sex, race or income
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... “The Communion ... real people of God in congregations across the United States. “The Communion ... ordained in 1964 who has served congregations in seven states throughout his long ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... March 23, 2017 , ... In 2016 ... now estimates that there could be four million Zika-related cases in the Americas within ... with numbers of US cases reported per year skyrocketing to an estimated 329,000. Yet, ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... ... The physicians of KSF Orthopaedic Center PA are proud to announce the opening ... at 2255 E. Mossy Oaks Rd., Suite 440, Spring, Texas 77389 inside the new ... in the north Houston area (The Woodlands, Conroe, Magnolia, Kingwood, Humble) with an even ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... Braunfels, TX (PRWEB) , ... March 23, 2017 , ... ... new clinic, located at 960 Gruene Road in Building 2. The clinic is the ... Dr. Andrew Bennett, PT, says opening the company’s second New Braunfels location brings things ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... March 23, 2017 , ... The IoT ... and WiFi connectivity are making a huge impact on businesses and individual consumers alike. ... estimates the IoT will have a value anywhere from $4 trillion to $11 trillion ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/24/2017)... surveys with 9,250 insured consumers fielded from February 2015 ... help from their plans in five key areas: 1) ... help closing gaps in care, 3) better digital connections, ... real-time guidance. Meeting these needs is essential to promoting ... A Reason to Stay Engaged in Health ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... 2017 Research and Markets has announced the ... Industry Forecast to 2025" report to their offering. ... The Global Cryostat Market ... the next decade to reach approximately $3.5 billion by 2025. ... all the given segments on global as well as regional levels ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... , March 23, 2017 ... report created through extensive primary research (inputs from ... report aims to present the analysis of global ... Procedure (Replacement and Repair); Replacement Procedure By Technique ... By Technique (Surgical Devices, Balloon Valvuloplasty, Transcatheter Mitral ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: