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Interindividual and interpopulation differences may be used to guide and optimize disease treatment based on genetics and this is referred to as pharmacogenetics or pharmacogenomics. Pharmacogenetics is a branch of pharmacology that focuses on how single to few genetic markers affect drug efficacy and safety. Pharmacogenetics evaluates the effects of genetic variations on drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME), thereby broadly affecting its pharmacokinetic (PK) and pharmacodynamic (PD) properties (Hansen et al. 2009; Kitzmiller et al. 2011; Malik et al. 2010). Pharmacogenomics, on the other hand, is the study of how the variation across the whole genome influences response to therapeutic drugs and encompasses genes affecting host susceptibility to disease as well as disease pathways and mechanisms that affect gene expression and function. Both terms may be used interchangeably and will be referred to as pharmacogenomics in this chapter.
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