Adverse drug reactions are one of the most common reasons for hospitalisation and have been proposed as the fourth to sixth leading cause of death in hospitalised patients. The current knowledge about possible genetic causes of adverse drug reactions is minimal. The Swedegene project aims to identify genetic factors which can explain why certain patients experience adverse drug reactions.
In collaboration between Uppsala University, the Swedish Medical Products Agency and Karolinska Institute, Swedegene will establish a database of clinical data and DNA from about 4000 cases of various adverse drug reactions. Reactions that cause important health problems will be selected, e.g., angioedema and cough from ACE-inhibitors, osteonecrosis from bisphosphonates, and weight gain from neuroleptics and antidepressants. Genome-wide association studies will be performed using 5000 population controls from the Swedish Twin Registry as well as treated controls.
Studying the genetic basis of adverse drug reactions may make it possible to:
- Identify susceptible individuals through genetic testing.
- Design safer drugs.
- Understand these syndromes when they are not drug-induced.
For instance, studying the molecular basis of cough associated with ACE-inhibitors or weight gain with neuroleptics may identify new molecular targets for the treatment of cough and obesity.