Drugs' Adverse Effects May Be Predictable

NEW YORK, April 21 (UPI) — U.S. medical investigators say it may be possible to predict adverse drug reactions using genetic, cellular and clinical information.

Mount Sinai School of Medicine researchers in New York say such a framework could be applied to the study of medications to determine why some drugs cause heart arrhythmias in patients. They said their study might also be applied to medications that treat diseases and disorders, such as epilepsy and autism.


The scientists, led by Professor Ravi Iyengar, said it’s been know that human genetic make-up contains slight variations that can alter individual responses to medications. The research team said it was able to harness that genetic information in a way that can predict a drug’s adverse effect, such as arrhythmias.

“Arrhythmias are side effects in so many different classes of drugs, for diseases ranging from insomnia to epilepsy,” said Iyengar. “By identifying the mechanism causing these adverse events, we can hopefully predict them in other drugs, and help physicians tailor treatment for patients.”

The researchers said their findings might also help scientists improve drug design and development.

The study is reported in the journal Science Signaling.

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