The cytochrome P450 2D6 (CYP2D6) enzyme polymorphism: Screening costs and influence on clinical outcomes in psychiatry

Shuqing Chen, Wen Hwei Chou, Robert A. Blouin, Zhongping Mao, Laurie L. Humphries, Q. Craig Meek, John R. Neill, Walter L. Martin, Lon R. Hays, Peter J. Wedlund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

180 Scopus citations


Objectives: This study examined factors that affect cost, reliability, and the value of determining the cytochrome P450 2D6 (CYP2D6) polymorphism in clinical practice. Study design: The method of deoxyribonucleic acid isolation, sample preparation, oligonucleotide primers, and polymerase chain reaction procedures were scrutinized for their effect on CYP2D6 genotyping efforts. The determination of the CYP2D6 A, B, D, E, and T alleles was used to identify the deficiency in CYP2D6 expression in 161 individuals phenotyped for CYP2D6 activity with dextromethorphan. The CYP2D6 genotype was assessed in 74 outpatients who had received diagnoses of depression. Eighteen of these patients were screened because of an adverse response to a tricyclic or antidepressant known or suspected to be a CYP2D6 substrate. Results: The CYP2D6A, B, C, D, E, and T alleles could be detected in 13 hours at a cost of $84 per sample by judicious selection of conditions and procedures. The genotype provided an accurate predictor of CYP2D6 expression in all 134 subjects who expressed the enzyme and in all 27 unrelated individuals phenotyped as deficient in CYP2D6 activity. In the patient group that experienced adverse effects, 44% of all CYP2D6 gene copies contained the A, B, D, E, or T allele(s) associated with inactive CYP2D6 expression. This was more than twice the rate for the occurrence of mutant alleles in the other 56 psychiatric patients (21%) and in 80 random subjects from the general population (20%; p < 0.05). Conclusions: Screening psychiatric patients for CYP2D6 expression may distinguish metabolic-based therapeutic problems from drug sensitivity caused by other mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)522-534
Number of pages13
JournalClinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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