Pharmacogenetics deals with the differences in effect of drugs caused by genetic variation. Differences can occur in therapeutic effect and in adverse events.

Genetic variation in metabolism may result in high concentrations of drugs and an increased risk of adverse effects in slow metabolizers, which is important when using for example antidepressants or chemotherapy.

Genetic variation also occurs in proteins interacting with drugs, which may change the effect of e.g. asthma drugs and antipsychotics. Personalized medicine is the use of pharmacogenetics to understand how an individual can benefit from specific drugs.

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