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Oct 31, 2021
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People and medicines

People and medicines

Why do the same drugs work differently for different people?

To understand why this happens, you need to remember how people react to alcohol. Why does the same bottle of vodka affect everyone differently? One is not enough of it, the other is drunk as a lord from one glass, and for some half a liter is a lethal dose. The liver enzyme, which plays a key role in the breakdown of ethyl alcohol and its breakdown products, is different for all people. And now the most important thing: the same enzyme – doctors call it cytochrome P450 – is also the main one in the breakdown of many drugs. And in the same way, some of its varieties break down some drugs quickly, others slowly.

There are many other essential enzymes on which the effectiveness of drugs depends. Likewise, different people have different receptors on which drugs act. Our metabolism and hormones are as individual as our appearance. And if we buy clothes by size and choosing a style, then we prescribe medicines by eye and according to the principle of equalization. But there are medicines for which the therapeutic dose for different people can differ 15 times! For example, the drug warfarin, which prevents the development of blood clots. Because of this, it is sometimes overdose, and as a result, it causes bleeding. Now special tests are even used for warfarin preparations, which help to dose it personally. On a massive scale, this “individual therapy” will be the medicine of the future … and not very distant.

Oleg Dneprov.

Photo: ADOBESTOCK

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