Dutch pharmacogenetics working group (DPWG) guideline for the gene-drug interaction of CYP2D6 and COMT with atomoxetine and methylphenidate

Marga Nijenhuis*, Bianca Soree, Wafa O.M. Jama, Nienke J. de Boer-Veger, Anne Marie Buunk, Henk Jan Guchelaar, Elisa J.F. Houwink, Gerard A. Rongen, Ron H.N. van Schaik, Jesse J. Swen, Daan Touw, Jan van der Weide, Roos van Westrhenen, Vera H.M. Deneer, Arne Risselada

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Pharmacogenetics (PGx) studies the effect of heritable genetic variation on drug response. Clinical adoption of PGx has remained limited, despite progress in the field. To promote implementation, the Dutch Pharmacogenetics Working Group (DPWG) develops evidence-based guidelines on how to optimize pharmacotherapy based on PGx test results. This guideline describes optimization of atomoxetine therapy based on genetic variation in the CYP2D6 gene. The CYP2D6 enzyme is involved in conversion of atomoxetine into the metabolite 4-hydroxyatomoxetine. With decreasing CYP2D6 enzyme activity, the exposure to atomoxetine and the risk of atomoxetine induced side effects increases. So, for patients with genetically absent CYP2D6 enzyme activity (CYP2D6 poor metabolisers), the DPWG recommends to start with the normal initial dose, bearing in mind that increasing this dose probably will not be required. In case of side effects and/or a late response, the DPWG recommends to reduce the dose and check for sustained effectiveness for both poor metabolisers and patients with genetically reduced CYP2D6 enzyme activity (CYP2D6 intermediate metabolisers). Extra vigilance for ineffectiveness is required in patients with genetically increased CYP2D6 enzyme activity (CYP2D6 ultra-rapid metabolisers). No interaction was found between the CYP2D6 and COMT genes and methylphenidate. In addition, no interaction was found between CYP2D6 and clonidine, confirming the suitability of clonidine as a possible alternative for atomoxetine in variant CYP2D6 metabolisers. The DPWG classifies CYP2D6 genotyping as being “potentially beneficial” for atomoxetine. CYP2D6 testing prior to treatment can be considered on an individual patient basis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1364-1370
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Human Genetics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


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