The combination of heredity and life experiences makes everyone unique. Needs and responses to treatment are different for each person, so therapeutic approaches must be tailored specially for each individual patient. At Sovereign Health, all of our treatment plans are designed specifically for each patient in our mental health, addiction and dual diagnosis treatment programs.
When medication is indicated for a patient, finding the most effective dosage of the most effective drug can be challenging. Pharmacogenetic testing allows our doctors to understand how each patient will respond to different medications based on genetic analysis. When patients are given the treatment that is right for them from the beginning, they can start feeling better right away.
What is pharmacogenetic testing?
Pharmacogenetic testing (PGx) predicts responses to different medications based on genetic analysis. The genes that determine the production of enzymes that are required to metabolize medications are analyzed. Genetic variations determine how drugs are broken down, transported, converted, absorbed and excreted, which is why the same drug affects everyone differently.
Once the sample has been sent off to the pharmacogenetic testing labs and the results are returned, the PGx predicts which drugs patients should be able to metabolize and how they would likely metabolize different drugs. Without the enzymes to efficiently metabolize the drug, a patient may not experience any improvement, but could experience many side effects or even a dangerous reaction. Conversely, others may metabolize the same medication so rapidly that a higher dose or different drug may be needed.
Pharmacogenetic testing companies, that process the PGx, provides information about how a person will respond to many different psychotropic/psychiatric medications. In addition, responses are also predicted for other commonly used medications, such as anticoagulants (blood thinners), chemotherapeutic agents, heart medication and painkillers. PGx provides information that can:
- Improve the safety and efficacy of medications
- Reduce the risk of side effects and toxicity
- Lower the risk of serious adverse effects or fatal reactions
- Help eliminate unnecessary medication
- Shorten the time it takes to achieve desired effect
- Be cost-effective