Pharmacogenomics is the study of how genes affect a person's response to drugs. This is relatively a new field of science that combines the understanding of pharmacology (the science of drugs) and genomics (the study of genes and their functions) to develop effective, safe medications and doses that will be tailored according to a person's genetic makeup.
Pharmacogenomics deals with the influence of acquired and inherited genetic variation on drug response in patients by correlating gene expression or single-nucleotide polymorphisms with pharmacokinetics (drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination) and pharmacodynamics (effects mediated through a drug's biological targets).
Pharmacogenomics aims to develop rational means to optimize drug therapy, with respect to the patients' genotype, to ensure maximum efficiency with minimal adverse effects. Through the utilization of pharmacogenomics, it is hoped that pharmaceutical drug treatments can deviate from the "one-dose-fits-all" approach.
Pharmacogenomics also attempts to eliminate the trial-and-error method of prescribing, allowing physicians to take into consideration their patient's genes, the functionality of these genes, and how this may affect the efficacy of the patient's current or future treatments. Pharmacogenomics can explain a patient's response or lack thereof to a treatment, or act as a predictive tool; it assists to achieve better treatment outcomes, greater efficacy, minimization of the occurrence of drug toxicities and adverse drug reactions (ADRs).
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