Let's talk about SLCO1B1 Drug Transport

What is pharmacogenetics (farm-uh-ko-genetics)?

Pharmacogenetics is a big word for a simple idea — your genetics can influence how you process certain medications. Pharmacogenetics can help your healthcare provider when choosing an appropriate course of treatment.

How does the SLCO1B1 gene impact drug transport in the body?

The SLCO1B1 gene contains instructions for making the SLCO1B1 protein, also known as the OATP1B1 protein. This protein is found in the liver and acts as a transporter that moves certain medications from the blood into the liver so that they can be removed from the body. Specific DNA variants can reduce the ability of SLCO1B1 to transport these medications.

What factors besides genetics affect how you process medications?

In addition to genetics, many other factors can influence how people process medications, such as age, weight, liver and kidney function, and drug-drug interactions. It’s the combination of these factors plus genetics that influences how the body processes a medication.

Did you know?

About 10-30% of people, depending on ethnicity, have a specific variant in the SLCO1B1 gene that affects how well they process certain medications. 

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Curious to learn more? 23andMe Pharmacogenetics reports** can tell you if you have a specific DNA variant in the SLCO1B1 gene that may influence how you process certain medications. The best time to learn about your pharmacogenetics is before starting a medication, so these reports may be helpful now and in the future and can easily be shared with your healthcare provider.

You can get the Pharmacogenetics reports and more with 23andMe+ Premium, an annual membership that includes our Health + Ancestry Service plus new premium reports and features throughout the year.

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Please note:

  • The 23andMe Pharmacogenetics reports should not be used to start, stop, or change any course of treatment. Medications should always be taken as directed.
  • These reports do not test for all possible DNA variants that may affect an individual’s ability to process medications.
  • These reports do not account for lifestyle or other health factors that may affect an individual’s ability to process medications.
  • These reports do not determine whether a medication is indicated for an individual.

**23andMe PGS Pharmacogenetics reports: The 23andMe test uses qualitative genotyping to detect 3 variants in the CYP2C19 gene, 2 variants in the DPYD gene and 1 variant in the SLCO1B1 gene in the genomic DNA of adults from saliva for the purpose of reporting and interpreting information about the processing of certain therapeutics to inform discussions with a healthcare professional. It does not describe if a person will or will not respond to a particular therapeutic and does not describe the association between detected variants and any specific therapeutic. Our CYP2C19 Pharmacogenetics report provides certain information about variants associated with metabolism of some therapeutics and provides interpretive drug information regarding the potential effect of citalopram and clopidogrel therapy. Results for SLCO1B1 and DPYD and certain CYP2C19 results should be confirmed by an independent genetic test prescribed by your own healthcare provider before taking any medical action. Warning: Test information should not be used to start, stop, or change any course of treatment and does not test for all possible variants that may affect metabolism or protein function. The PGS test is not a substitute for visits to a healthcare professional. Making changes to your current regimen can lead to harmful side effects or reduced intended benefits of your medication, therefore consult with your healthcare professional before taking any medical action. For important information and limitations regarding Pharmacogenetics reports, visit 23andme.com/test-info/pharmacogenetics/


Whirl-Carrillo M et al. (2012). “Pharmacogenomics knowledge for personalized medicine.” Clin Pharmacol Ther. 92(4):414-7. 

Empey PE et al. (2019). “Abstract 16081: Frequency of Potentially Clinically Relevant Variants of CYP2C19 And SLCO1B1 in a Large Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Database.” Circulation. 140:A16081.