By MIT Technology Review, Editors

 

  • Drug
    Atomoxetine HCI (Strattera)

Purpose
ADHD treatment

The Gene Factor
Patients with a mutation in the CYP2D6 gene are at risk of suffering serious liver damage.

  • Drug
    Clopidogrel (Plavix)

Purpose
Prevents heart attacks by inhibiting blood clots

The Gene Factor
A variation of the CYP2C19 gene interferes with the way the drug is metabolized, rendering it ineffective.

  • Drug
    Cetuximab (Erbitux) and Panitumumab (Vectibix)

Purpose
Colorectal cancer drug

The Gene Factor
The drugs work only in people whose tumors have a normal KRAS gene.

  • Drug
    Gefitinib (Iressa)

Purpose
Lung cancer drug

The Gene Factor
Works best on people whose tumors have a mutation in the EGFR gene.

  • Drug
    Irinotecan (Camptosar)

Purpose
Colorectal cancer drug

The Gene Factor
People with a genetic variant suffer side effects because they have fewer liver enzymes to break down the drug.

  • Drug
    Tamoxifen (Nolvadex)

Purpose
Breast cancer drug

The Gene Factor
Variations in the CYP2D6 gene can make a person metabolize the drug too quickly or not at all.

  • Drug
    Warfarin (Coumadin)

Purpose
Blood thinner

The Gene Factor
In patients with either or both of two genetic variations, the drug can cause excessive bleeding rather than help prevent blood clots. Genetic testing can reveal the right dose.

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