N-acetyltransferase 2 (NAT2) acetylator status can be classified into three groups depending on the number of rapid alleles (e.g., NAT2*4): rapid, intermediate, and slow acetylators. Such acetylator status may influence the occurrence of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) during sulfasalazine treatment. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to evaluate the association between NAT2 acetylator status and ADRs of sulfasalazine. We searched for qualified studies in PubMed, Web of Science, Embase, and the Cochrane Library. Odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated to evaluate the strength of the association between NAT2 acetylator status and ADRs of sulfasalazine. Nine cohort studies involving 1,077 patients were included in the meta-analysis. NAT2 slow acetylators were associated with an increase in overall ADRs (OR 3.37, 95% CI: 1.43 to 7.93; p = 0.005), discontinuation due to overall ADRs (OR 2.89, 95% CI: 1.72 to 4.86; p < 0.0001), and dose-related ADRs (OR 5.20, 95% CI: 2.44 to 11.08; p < 0.0001), compared with rapid and intermediate acetylators. In conclusion, NAT2 slow acetylators are at risk of ADRs during sulfasalazine treatment. Based on our findings, NAT2 genotyping may be useful to predict the occurrence of ADRs during sulfasalazine treatment.
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