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Down syndrome (DS; trisomy 21) is the most common survivable disorder due to aneuploidy. Individuals with DS may experience multiple comorbid health problems including congenital heart defects, endocrine abnormalities, skin and dental problems, seizure disorders, leukemia, dementia, and obesity. These associated conditions may necessitate pharmacotherapeutic management with various drugs. The complex pathobiology of DS may alter drug disposition and drug response in some individuals. For example, reports have documented increased rates of adverse drug reactions in patients with DS treated for leukemia and dementia. Intellectual disability resulting from DS may impact adherence to medication regimens. In this review, we highlight literature focused on pharmacotherapy for individuals with DS. We discuss reports of altered drug disposition or response in patients with DS and explore social factors that may impact medication adherence in the DS setting. Enhanced monitoring during drug therapy in individuals with DS is justified based on reports of altered drug disposition, drug response, and other characteristics present in this population.

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This review was supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health under awards R01GM073646 and R03HD076055.



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