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CYP1A1 gene is involved in estrogen metabolism, and previously, we have reported association of variant rs2606345 with altered anti-epileptic drugs (AED) response in North Indian women with epilepsy (WWE). The present study aims to replicate the pharmacogenetic association, perform functional characterization and study its distribution within ethnically diverse Indian population. The variant was genotyped in 351 patients to assess the pharmacogenetic association and 552 healthy individuals belonging to 24 different ethnic groups to examine the distribution in Indian population. We observed significant overrepresentation of ‘A' allele and ‘AA' genotype in poor responders in WWE at Bonferroni-corrected significance levels. The recessive allele was found to lower the promoter activity by ˜ 70–80% which was further substantiated by thermally less stable hairpin formed by it (ΔTm = 7 °C). Among all ethnic groups, west Indo-European (IE-W-LP2) subpopulation showed highest genotypic frequency of the variant making women from this community more prone to poor AED response. Our results indicate that rs2606345 influences drug response in WWE by lowering CYP1A1 expression.