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Sulfonylureas are metabolized mainly by the cytochrome p450 2C9 (CYP2C9) enzyme. Two CYP2C9 variants--*2 (Arg144Cys) and *3 (Ile359Leu)--are associated with reduced enzyme activity and impaired substrate metabolism. We identified 1,073 incident users of sulfonylureas in Tayside, Scotland, and assessed the impact of the combined CYP2C9*2 and CYP2C9*3 genotypes on early and sustained sulfonylurea response. We found that patients with two copies of a loss-of-function allele were 3.4 times (P = 0.0009) more likely to achieve a treatment hemoglobin A(1c) (HbA(1c)) level <7% than patients with two wild-type CYP2C9 alleles. This corresponds to a 0.5% (P = 0.003) greater reduction in HbA(1c) concentration. In addition, *2 and *3 allele carriers were less likely to experience treatment failure with sulfonylurea monotherapy (P = 0.04; per-allele hazard ratio 0.79; 95% confidence interval 0.63-0.99). In conclusion, CYP2C9 loss-of-function alleles are associated with greater response to sulfonylureas and decreased failure of therapy consistent with the pharmacokinetic role of CYP2C9.

Original publication




Journal article


Clin Pharmacol Ther

Publication Date





52 - 56


Aged, Alleles, Aryl Hydrocarbon Hydroxylases, Cytochrome P-450 CYP2C9, Databases, Genetic, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2, Female, Genetic Variation, Humans, Longitudinal Studies, Male, Middle Aged, Prospective Studies, Scotland, Sulfonylurea Compounds