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Pharmacogenomics J. 2005;5(1):21-9.

Dopamine receptor DRD2 genotype and smoking cessation outcome following treatment with bupropion SR.

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  • 1Center for Health Sciences, SRI International, Menlo Park, CA 94025, USA.


The A1 allele of the dopamine D2 receptor gene (DRD2) is associated with a reduced number of dopamine binding sites in the brain and with the increased likelihood of substance abuse and addictive behavior. In a study of smokers enrolled in an open-label, randomized effectiveness trial, we investigated whether variants in the DRD2 receptor gene are associated with smoking cessation outcomes following treatment with a combination of bupropion SR and behavioral counseling. Adherence to treatment and point-prevalent smoking status were assessed at 3 and 12 months, respectively, following a target quit date. Compared to women who carry both A2 alleles, women with at least one A1 allele were more likely to report having stopped taking bupropion due to medication side effects (odds ratio (OR)=1.91, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.01-3.60; P<0.04) and at 12 months were somewhat more likely to report smoking (OR=0.76, 95% CI=0.56-1.03; P<0.076). Significant associations or trends were not observed in men. In women, individual variability in responsiveness to bupropion-based treatment may be partially due to differences in genetic variants influencing dopamine receptor function.

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