Can genes really affect painkiller side effects? Painkillers like opioids are a central element to many forms of treatment and medical procedures because they have been found to be effective in fighting both acute and chronic pain. However, research has begun to show that the actual effectiveness and other side effects of opioids may depend more on a person’s genes than previously thought.
Martin Angst, MD—professor of anesthesia at Stanford University School of Medicine and director of the Stanford Human Pain Research Laboratory—and a team of researchers have found that not only does the effectiveness of opioids have a genetic component, but other adverse side effects do too. “Nausea, itchiness (often accentuated at the nose), dizziness, sleepiness, and respiratory depression (trouble breathing) are all drug side effects that our study showed can be linked to inheritance.” In particular, they found one of the most hated side effects, nausea, to be strongly inherited. Read more here http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/Genes-may-affect-painkiller-side-effects-3714593.php