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IS A DNA TEST RIGHT FOR ME?

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Amitriptyline

Amitriptyline is an antidepressant forming part of the class of drugs known as tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs). TCAs inhibit the reuptake of the neurotransmitters serotonin and noradrenaline in the brain. They are older, but effective, drugs that are less selective than more modern reuptake inhibitors, such as SSRIs. Amitriptyline is prescribed to treat depression, anxiety disorders, neuralgia, bedwetting, muscle pain caused by fibromyalgia, migraines, persistent hiccups and hypersalivation.

Amitriptyline and the benefit of DNA analysis

The rate at which amitriptyline is processed within your body varies from one individual to another. This means that the efficacy and side effects of amitriptyline can be predicted to some extent on the basis of your genes. Preventive DNA analysis can therefore be an important tool in optimising your medication.

Amitriptyline and the enzyme CYP2D6

Amitriptyline is processed to a large extent by the enzyme CYP2D6.

Initially, amitriptyline is metabolised (demethylated) by the enzyme CYP2C19 into another active substance (nortriptyline). The enzymes CYP2C9 and CYP3A4 are also involved in this step to a lesser extent. After this activation step this substance is metabolised further (hydroxylated) by the enzyme CYP2D6 into less active components.

The activity of the enzymes concerned can vary considerably depending on your genetic predisposition, which means the efficacy of amitriptyline can also differ from person to person. Information about your genetic predisposition may therefore provide grounds for extra vigilance in relation to a treatment with amitriptyline.

Read more about The enzyme CYP2D6 »