NYMC Faculty Publications

Pharmacogenomic Testing and Patient Perception Inform Pain Pharmacotherapy

Author Type(s)


Journal Title

Journal of Personalized Medicine

First Page


Last Page


Document Type


Publication Date




Second Department

Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology


(1) Background: Chronic pain is one of the most common reasons for individuals to seek medications. Historically, opioids have been the mainstay of chronic pain management. However, in some patient populations, opioids fail to demonstrate therapeutic efficacy, whereas in other populations, opioids may cause toxic effects, even at lower doses. Response to pain medication is affected by many factors, including an individual's genetic variations. Pharmacogenomic testing has been designed to help achieve optimal treatment outcomes. This study aimed at assessing the impact of CYP2D6 pharmacogenomic testing on physicians' choice in prescribing chronic pain medications and patient pain control. (2) Methods: This retrospective study reviewed 107 patient charts from a single site pain management center. All 107 patients received pharmacogenomic testing. The outcomes of interest were confirmation that the optimal pain medication is being administered or a change in the chronic pain medication is warranted as a result of the pharmacogenomic testing. The main independent variable was the pharmacogenomic test result. Other independent variables included patient gender, race, and comorbidities. The retrospective study was reviewed and approved by the Touro College and University System IRB, HSIRB1653E. (3) Results: Patients self-reported pain intensity on a scale of 1-10 before and after pharmacogenomic testing. Then, 100% of patients in the retrospective study were tested for their pain pharmacogenomic profile. Of the 107 patients participating in the study, more than 50% had their medications altered as a result of the pharmacogenomic testing. The percentage of patients with intense pain were decreased post-pharmacogenomic testing (5.6%) as compared to pre-pharmacogenomic testing (10.5%). Patients with intense, moderate, and mild pain categories were more likely to receive changes in pain medications. In contrast, patients with severe pain were less likely to receive a change in pain medication. Hispanic ethnicity was associated with a statistically significantly decrease in a pain scale category. Illegal drug abuse was associated with a decrease in pain scale category. Change in medication dose was associated with a decrease in pain scale category. (4) Conclusion: In this retrospective study, implementation of pharmacogenomic testing demonstrated significant benefits to patients with intense pain undergoing treatment.