When you take a medicine (or drug), your body needs to find a way to use it.  Some proteins in your body carry (transport) medicines so that they can be used.  If your body can’t carry a medicine to the right place, this may cause the medicine to not work as well.  Or, it may cause a side effect.


The SLCO1B1 gene gives instructions to your body to make a protein.  The SLCO1B1 protein helps carry certain medicines so your body can use them.  These medicines include:

  • Statins – used to lower cholesterol

These are the medicines that we know of right now that are impacted by SLCO1B1 gene test results.  Medical experts keep on finding new data about which new medicines are affected by gene test results.

By testing your DNA, we can find DNA differences.  This can help us to see how well the proteins in your body work to carry different medicines. 

The results of your SLCO1B1 gene test will place you into 1 of 3 groups:

  • Normal function: People in this group are likely to have normal working SLCO1B1 proteins.  55-88% of people have SLCO1B1 normal function.
  • Decreased function: People in this group may have reduced function of SLCO1B1 proteins.  11-36% of patients have SLCO1B1 decreased function.
  • Poor function: People in the group may have very little or no active SLCO1B1 protein.  0-6% of patients have SLCO1B1 poor function.

The results of this test can help your doctor choose the right medicine and dose for you. 

If you have decreased or poor function of the S1CO1B1 gene, you may have a higher chance of muscle side effects when taking statins.  Based on your result, your doctor may choose to prescribe a different cholesterol medicine.  Or, your doctor may choose to prescribe a statin at a lower dose and then adjust the dose based on your response. 

Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine

University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

CU Anschutz

Anschutz Health Sciences Building

1890 N Revere Ct

Mailstop F563

Aurora, CO 80045

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