Imagine a world where your doctor knows what medications will ultimately work the best and possibly has no adverse side effects. Thanks to advances in genetics and physiology research, personalized medicine is on the rise and becoming readily available. Enter pharmacogenomic (PGx) testing. Exit trial-and-error, and “one size fits all” medications.
Pharmacogenomic testing studies the patient’s drug metabolizing genes by tracking the process of drugs being metabolized (or broken down) within the body. The test answers all sorts of questions including why a patient may not be having success with a medication, or is having severe side effects when other patients are having no issues with the same medication. No two patients are alike. They may have similar or even the same symptoms, but often the medication that worked for one won’t work for the other, or one will have adverse reactions where the other didn’t. A patient’s genetics will dictate how a medication works and whether or not they will experience reactions. Adverse reactions have been a real concern for healthcare providers as they are the 4th leading cause of death in the United States.
What exacting is PGx testing? It’s the study of how genetics may influence the efficacy of drugs.
In simple term, it’s the study of how a patient’s genes affect their body’s response to medications. This advance in testing means that the healthcare provider avoids the trial-and-error approach when prescribing medication. This informative tool helps determine the patient’s metabolism profile which in turn helps predict a personalized treatment while taking into consideration sensitivity to medicines that could produce create adverse side effects.
Many factors will determine how a patient responds to medications. Including:
- Other medications currently used
- Kidney or liver illness
Why should you consider having a PGx test? The obvious reason is that it will guide your health care provider in preparing a personalized solution to your health issue. The test results will help:
- Determine serious side effects
- The healthcare provider adjust the dose of a current medication
- Recommend alternative medications
We are pleased to add this service in our practice. The testing is simple and can be done in our office or virtually as it only requires a small blood or saliva sample. We send the sample to the lab where the results will help determine if a medication will be effective, what dose would be ideal and whether or not there will be adverse side effects. Contact us for more information about PGx testing and reap the benefits of personalized medicine.
This information is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as professional advice. Should you have any questions or would like to discuss genetic testing, please contact the staff at Parveen S. Vahora, MD. We are here to help.