Methadone is used worldwide for the treatment of heroin addiction; however, fatal poisonings are increasingly reported. The prevalence of CYP2B6 and µ-opioid receptor (OPRM1) gene variations were examined between a postmortem population where the deaths were associated with methadone and a live nondrug-using control population using Taqman™ SNP Genotyping assays. The CYP2B6*6 allele was higher in the postmortem population, but the difference was not significant (P = 0.92). The CYP2B6 T750C promoter variation was similar in frequency for both populations. Linkage between T750C and CYP2B6*6 was identified for both populations (P < 0.01). The prevalence of the OPRM1 A118G variation was significantly higher in the control population (P = 0.0046), which might indicate a protective mechanism against opioid toxicity. Individual susceptibility to methadone may be determined by screening for CYP2B6*6.
- SINGLE-NUCLEOTIDE POLYMORPHISM
- DOPAMINE RELEASE