Clopidogrel and genetic testing: Is it necessary for everyone?

Sweta Goswami, Angela Cheng-Lai, James Nawarskas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Clopidogrel is a widely used antiplatelet agent to treat and prevent a variety of atherothrombotic diseases. More than a decade after its initial Food and Drug Administration approval, studies have emerged raising concerns regarding its possible reduced efficacy in patients who have impaired conversion of clopidogrel to its active metabolite (ie, poor metabolizers). Research has implicated genetic variations in the CYP2C19 isozyme as at least partly responsible for the variable antiplatelet response seen with clopidogrel. Studies have shown that patients possessing genetic variants of the CYP2C19 isozyme may be at increased risk of adverse cardiovascular events due to impaired clopidogrel efficacy, although this has not been definitively demonstrated. The Food and Drug Administration has issued a boxed warning regarding this concern. However, specific recommendations on genetic testing and alternative therapeutic strategies are not currently available. Genetic testing is commercially available to test patients for variability in the CYP2C19 isozyme, but altering antiplatelet therapy based on the results of this testing has not been adequately studied, and it is therefore not clear how to adjust therapy based on the results of this genetic testing. In addition, there are many other factors that may contribute to the variability in antiplatelet effect seen with clopidogrel besides CYP2C19 genetic polymorphisms. Ongoing trials dealing with adjusting antiplatelet therapy based on genetic testing will hopefully provide more useful information on how to appropriately integrate pharmacogenomics with the care of patients with atherothrombotic disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)96-100
Number of pages5
JournalCardiology in review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • CYP2C19
  • clopidogrel
  • genetic polymorphisms
  • genetic variants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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