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Genetics & Genomics

Pharmacogenomics: Why Standard Codeine Doses Can Have Serious Toxicities or No Therapeutic Effect

Patricia A. Kelly
ONF 2013, 40(4), 322-324 DOI: 10.1188/13.ONF.322-324

Three children died in August 2012 after receiving usual doses of codeine for postoperative pain following a tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy (U.S. Food and Drug Administration [FDA], 2013a). Those incidents, combined with a case report of a breast-feeding infant who died in 2005 of an apparent overdose after the mother received a standard dose of codeine for episiotomy pain (Health Sciences Authority, 2009; Koren, Cairns, Chitayat, Gaedigk, & Leeder, 2006), heighten the need to understand the pharmacogenomics of codeine metabolism.

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