An update on HLA alleles as pharmacogenetic markers for antiepileptic drug-induced cutaneous adverse reaction

  • Sue-Mian Then School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Nottingham Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia.
  • Azman Ali Raymond Neurology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Keywords: pharmacogenetic marker, HLA alleles, antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), cutaneous adverse drug reaction (cADR)


Epilepsy is a common neurological disorder affecting approximately 50 million people worldwide. Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) are commonly used to treat the disease depending, mainly on the type of seizure. However, the use of AEDs may also lead to cutaneous adverse drug reactions (cADR) such as toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), Stevens–Johnson syndrome (SJS), exfoliative dermatitis (ED) and drug‐induced hypersensitivity syndrome/drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DIHS/DRESS), which are unwanted comorbidities in epilepsy. It was first discovered that the HLA-B*15:02 allele was strongly associated with carbamazepine (CBZ)-induced SJS/TEN among Han Chinese and this led to the discovery of other HLA alleles and cytochrome P450 (CYP) genes that were significantly associated with various AED-induced cADRs across various populations.  This mini review is an update on the latest findings of the involvement of various HLA alleles and CYP alleles in cADRs caused by CBZ, phenytoin (PHT), oxcarbazepine (OXC) and lamitrogine (LTG) in different case-control studies around the world. From our review, we found that CBZ- and PHT-induced cADRs were more commonly reported than the other AEDs. Therefore, there were more robust pharmacogenetics studies related to these AEDs. OXC- and LTG-induced cADRs were less commonly reported, and so more studies are needed to validate the reported association of the newer reported HLA alleles with these AEDs. It is also important to take into account the allelic frequency within a given population before drawing conclusions about the use of these alleles as genetic markers to prevent AED-induced cADR. Overall, the current body of research point to a combination of alleles as a better pharmacogenetic marker compared to the use of a single gene as a genetic marker for AED-induced cADR.


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How to Cite
Then, S.-M. and Raymond, A. A. (2019) “An update on HLA alleles as pharmacogenetic markers for antiepileptic drug-induced cutaneous adverse reaction”, Neuroscience Research Notes, 2(2), pp. 1-17. doi: 10.31117/neuroscirn.v2i2.29.
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