Analgesia pp 395-420
Genetic Polymorphisms and Human Sensitivity to Opioid Analgesics
Opioid analgesics are commonly used for the treatment of acute as well as chronic, moderate to severe pain. Well-known, however, is the wide interindividual variability in sensitivity to opioids that exists, which has often been a critical problem in pain treatment. To date, only a limited number of studies have addressed the relationship between human genetic variations and sensitivity to opioids, and such studies are still in their early stages. Therefore, revealing the relationship between genetic variations in many candidate genes and individual differences in sensitivity to opioids will provide valuable information for appropriate individualization of opioid doses required for adequate pain control. Although the methodologies for such association studies can be diverse, here we summarize protocols for investigating the association between genetic polymorphisms and sensitivity to opioids in human volunteers and patients undergoing painful surgery.