Direct oral anticoagulants (DOAC) have shown an upward prescribing trend in recent years due to favorable pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics without requirement for routine coagulation monitoring. However, recent studies have documented inter-individual variability in plasma drug levels of DOACs. Pharmacogenomics of DOACs is a relatively new area of research. There is a need to understand the role of pharmacogenomics in the interpatient variability of the four most commonly prescribed DOACs, namely dabigatran, rivaroxaban, apixaban, and edoxaban. We performed an extensive search of recently published research articles including clinical trials and in-vitro studies in PubMed, particularly those focusing on genetic loci, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), and DNA polymorphisms, and their effect on inter-individual variation of DOACs. Additionally, we also focused on commonly associated drug-drug interactions of DOACs. CES1
SNPs are the most common documented genetic variants that contribute to alteration in peak and trough levels of dabigatran with demonstrated clinical impact. ABCB1
SNPs are implicated in alteration of plasma drug levels of rivaroxaban and apixaban. Studies conducted with factor Xa, ABCB1
, and VKORC1
genetic variants did not reveal any significant association with plasma drug levels of edoxaban. Pharmacokinetic drug-drug interactions of dabigatran are mainly mediated by p-glycoprotein. Strong inhibitors and inducers of CYP3A4 and p-glycoprotein should be avoided in patients treated with rivaroxaban, apixaban, and edoxaban. We conclude that some of the inter-individual variability of DOACs can be attributed to alteration of genetic variants of gene loci and drug-drug interactions. Future research should be focused on exploring new genetic variants, their effect, and molecular mechanisms that contribute to alteration of plasma levels of DOACs.
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