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Pharmacogenomics. 2009 Jan;10(1):17-28. doi: 10.2217/14622416.10.1.17.

Pharmacogenetics of debrisoquine and its use as a marker for CYP2D6 hydroxylation capacity.

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CICAB, Clinical Research Centre, Extremadura University Hospital and Medical School, Spain.


Debrisoquine hydroxylation polymorphism is by far the most thoroughly studied genetic polymorphism of the CYP2D6 drug-metabolizing enzyme. Debrisoquine hydroxylation phenotype has been the most used test in humans to evaluate CYP2D6 activity. Two debrisoquine hydroxylation phenotypes have been described: poor and extensive metabolizers. A group with a very low debrisoquine metabolic ratio within the extensive metabolizers, named ultrarapid metabolizers, has also been distinguished. This CYP2D6 variability can be for a large part alternatively determined by genotyping, which appears to be of clinical importance given CYP2D6 involvement in the metabolism of a large number of commonly prescribed drugs. CYP2D6 pharmacogenetics may then become a useful tool to predict drug-related side effects, interactions or therapeutic failures. However, a number of reasons appear to have made research into this field lag behind. The present review focuses on the relevance of genetics and environmental factors for determining debrisoquine hydroxylation phenotype, as well as the relevance of CYP2D6 genetic polymorphism in psychiatric patients treated with antipsychotic drugs.

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