This article describes the current scientific knowledge regarding pharmacogenetic predictors of treatment outcome for substance-dependent patients. PubMed was searched for articles on pharmacogenetics and addiction. This search yielded 53 articles, of which 27 were selected. The most promising pharmacogenetic findings are related to the treatment of alcohol dependence. Genetic variation in the µ-opioid receptor (OPRM1) and the serotonin transporter (5-HTTLPR) appear to be associated with treatment outcomes for naltrexone and ondansetron, respectively. Genetic variation in CYP2D6 is related to efficacy of methadone treatment for opiate dependence. Pharmacogenetics may help explain the great inter-individual variation in treatment response. In the future, treatment matching, based on genetic characteristics of individual patients, could lead to a 'personalized medicine' approach. Pharmacogenetic matching of naltrexone in alcohol-dependent carriers of the OPRM1 G-allele currently seems most promising.
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