Researchers now know what causes such severe side effects from Clozapine.
Clozapine is a common drug administered to patients diagnosed with schizophrenia, but who do not respond to first-line antipsychotics.
This drug is restricted, however, due to its severe side effects, such as Clozapine-induced agranulocytosis (CIA) or Clozapine-induced granulocytopenia (CIG).
Though both are very rare (CIA: 1% and CIG: 3%), they have the potential to be life-threatening.
In a study published by Osaka University, researchers explored the reasoning behind this reaction in some patients.
Researchers conducted a genome-wide pharmacogenomic analysis and found that there is an association between the side effects and HLA-B*58:01.
This allele is involved in the autoimmune response in which the body recognizes what is “self” and what is “non-self.”
Further research into the functions of HLBA-B*59:01 is needed to fully understand this response to the drug, the study concluded.