AMA Webinar Addresses Genetics' Role in Patient Response to Opioids

The free Sept. 25 presentation by Dr. Charles E. Argoff, M.D., professor of neurology at Albany Medical College and director of the Comprehensive Pain Center at Albany Medical Center, will explain how certain genetic variations affect a patient's reaction to opioids.

The American Medical Association is hosting a free webinar on Sept. 25 about pain management and pharmacogenetics, the study of genetic variation in drug response, as part of its webinar series about responsibly prescribing opioid painkillers.

"Prescription drug abuse is a serious epidemic that cannot be ignored, and any action we take to curb it must ensure that patients suffering from chronic pain get the treatment they need," said AMA Immediate Past President Dr. Jeremy A. Lazarus. "The AMA is pleased to offer a series of webinars to help physicians combat prescription drug abuse and promote responsible pain management."

Overuse and misuse of prescription drugs are a serious problem, but millions of Americans rely on prescription opioids to function in their day-to-day lives, according to the AMA's announcement of the webinar, which said genetic mutations have been linked to the variability of responses to opioids because of altered opioid receptors in the brain and the metabolic changes they cause, among other factors. Presented by Dr. Charles E. Argoff, M.D., professor of neurology at Albany Medical College and director of the Comprehensive Pain Center at Albany Medical Center, the webinar will explain the genetic foundation and clinical importance of certain genetic variations, how they can affect a patient's reaction to opioids, and how pharmacogenetic research could inform clinical decision-making in pain management. The one-hour webinar will begin at 1 p.m. EDT and will be archived online for on-demand viewing afterward.

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