Pharmacogenomics (PGx) testing is used to better understand a person’s potential for both positive and negative responses to certain medications. It is well known that even properly prescribed medication can have unanticipated
adverse effects, resulting in ineffective/failed treatments, increased medication costs, and even injury and death. This test identifies genes that affect the way an individual responds to different medications. PGx tests
enable healthcare professionals to potentially reduce the number of adverse outcomes and improve the clinical efficacy of their treatments and the medications they prescribe. They are able to tailor the medications they prescribe and the dosages they select to the specific genetic profile of a particular patient.
Pharmacogenomic testing reveals a lot of information, including genetic factors that indicate the speed of the patient’s metabolism. This is important because a person’s metabolism changes the way their body responds to medication, the length of time a dose is effective, and how much medication a person can take in a period of time before their levels become toxic. This is beneficial for prescribing medication because it helps eliminate the risk of inefficacy and hypersensitivity/allergic reactions.
BENEFITS OF PHARMACOGENOMIC TESTING:
*Before starting treatment, it is important to identify which drugs will likely be most effectively (and which drugs will not).
PGx gives clinicians the ability to better treat their patients. They can prescribe the medications identified as being the most effective & safe, while avoiding medications with a higher risk of serious side effects. It can also rovide insight into a patient’s previous medication history, including
treatment failures and adverse drug reactions.
*Reduces the need to modify or change the dose of medications during treatment.
PGx results help clinicians determine the right medication and dose BEFORE beginning treatment. This prevents patients from undergoing the “experimental phase” during the first few weeks after being prescribed a new medication. This is when physicians start out a dosage at the lowest end of the acceptable therapeutic range, and then instruct the patient to slowly increase the dose until an effective dose is reached. This can lead to an increase in effective treatments, positive patient outcomes, and minimizes unnecessary medication costs.
*Reduces the chance of unused prescription medications being distributed illegally.
Every day, more than 100 people die from drug overdoses. Most of these deaths are caused by prescription drugs, many acquired from people they know who have prescriptions.