The impact of CYP2D6 genetic polymorphisms on postoperative morphine consumption

Keith A. Candiotti, Zongqi Yang, Yiliam Rodriguez, Andres Crescimone, Greys C. Sanchez, Peter Takacs, Carlos Medina, Yanping Zhang, Huanliang Liu, Melvin C. Gitlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Background: Endogenous morphine-like compounds have been identified in humans and are released in response to stress. Human monocytes and granulocytes express the μ opiate receptor, μ3, which is morphine selective but opiate peptide insensitive. Recent studies have shown that CYP2D6 acts at critical steps for endogenous morphine biosynthesis. We theorized that ultrarapid (UM) CYP2D6 metabolizers may have an enhancement of their endogenous pain modulating mechanisms. Methods: After institutional review board approval, a previously developed surgical patient database was evaluated for information concerning CYP2D6 genotypes and morphine consumption. One hundred forty-two patients were found to have adequate information to be included in this current analysis. The study group was divided, based on morphine consumption, into two subgroups: low morphine consumers (LMC) (≤10 mg/4 h, N = 80) and high morphine consumers (HMC) (>10 mg/4 h, N = 62). DNA was extracted from blood in all patients and was genotyped by the Amplichip (Roche, Pleasanton, CA) to determine the specific CYP2D6 genotypes. Results: CYP2D6 UM were found to occur more frequently in the LMC group than in the HMC group (8/80 vs 0/62, P = 0.0091). No significant differences were noted for the poor, intermediate, or extensive metabolizers. Conclusions: Our current results suggest that CYP2D6 UM appear to require less morphine in the acute postoperative period compared with other CYP2D6 metabolizer groups. One possible mechanism for this observation is that CYP2D6 UM may have higher efficiency in synthesizing endogenous morphine compared with other metabolizers, thus increasing endogenous pain modulation and reducing the need for exogenous morphine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)799-805
Number of pages7
JournalPain Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2009


  • CYP2D6
  • Genetic polymorphisms
  • Morphine consumption
  • Postoperative pain
  • Ultra rapid CYP2D6 metabolizers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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