Medications work differently in different people. Just as you may have red hair and freckles, but your sibling has brown hair with tanned skin; your genetics also affect how your body process medicines. Common medicines affected by our genetics include mental health medications. It can be exceedingly difficult to predict which mental health medication will work best for you. Genetic testing can help.
Every year over forty-three million Americans experience mental illness. While most with a mental illness have only a temporary episode or two, a considerable number experience issues daily. One in every 25 Americans has a serious mental health condition, such as a major depressive disorder. Mental illness is unfortunately more common than most people may think.
How Are Psychiatric Disorders Treated?
Psychiatric, or mental health, disorders often occur due to a disruption of normal brain function. The original cause can vary individually. Psychiatric disorders may lead to anger, delusions, depression, false beliefs, fatigue, hallucinations, mood swings, and more. It may appear that the person’s thoughts are irrational or seem misaligned with reality. Reasoning with someone who is experiencing a mental illness can sometimes be difficult. Treatment is often multifaceted including both cognitive behavior therapy and medications.
Examples of psychiatric disorders include:
- Eating disorders
- OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder)
- PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)
There are multiple varieties of psychiatric medications. Antidepressants, antipsychotics, anxiolytics, mood stabilizers, and stimulants are all considered psychiatric medicines. Changing the brain’s chemistry with medicine may reduce common symptoms. Medicines can effectively reduce mental health symptoms, but they come with their own range of side effects. These drugs may affect blood sugar or cholesterol, cause drowsiness, lead to heart palpitations, or induce muscle spasms, and other unwanted side effects. Comparing risk versus benefit helps your doctor determine the best fit for you.
Since there are several mental health medications available on the market, your doctor will begin a process of “trial and error,” prescribing various kinds until they find one that works for you. Not only is this process time-consuming, but it also can put you at risk of side effects while still not helping you feel better. There is a solution to help you feel better quickly. Genetic testing for medication effectiveness helps your doctor reduce trial and error, reduces your potential for side effects, increases your chances of controlling your illness, saves time, and saves money.
What Is Genetic Testing For Medication Effectiveness?
Genetic testing for medication, also known as drug-gene testing, examines your DNA for clues to how your body will respond to certain drugs. Every DNA strand contains genes. Certain genes hold the directions for manufacturing enzymes, a type of protein. These proteins affect drug metabolism. If the enzymes act differently than expected, the drug may break down before it has a chance to work, or the medicine may stay in your system longer than necessary. If the medication cannot function properly, you may have more side effects with little to no benefit. Knowing how your genes work takes the guesswork out of prescribing the best potential medicine.
Genetic testing for drug metabolism focuses on a specific type of enzyme: cytochrome P450 (CYP450). These enzymes are responsible for the metabolism of over 70% of clinically used drugs, including most psychiatric meds.
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How Does Genetic Medication Testing Work?
The genetic testing process is both quick and simple. A saliva sample collected with a swab of your cheek. The test can be done in the comfort of your own home. The sample is then sent back to the laboratory for analysis. Once ClarityX receives collected the genetic swab test for medication, the team analyzes it and gives insight into your body’s response to hundreds of FDA-approved medications.
Information learned from your genetic swab test includes:
- Finding the right medication based on your DNA.
- Whether you have an increased risk for unwanted side effects.
- Whether you need a dosage adjustment.
- How a new medication will react to your current medications.
The purpose of genetic testing for medication is to help you and your physician make better treatment choices for your overall health, happiness, and wellness.
Do I Need A Genetic Swab Test for Medication?
Anyone that uses psychiatric medications, or certain other types of medicine, should consider getting a DNA swab test for medication response. Drug gene testing is especially important if any of the following applies to you:
- You have recently been diagnosed with a health condition or started a new drug treatment. Genetic testing can narrow down options and eliminate potentially dangerous drugs.
- You are using other medications: Two different medications can clash with each other and cause side effects. Testing can help predict these reactions and reduce the risk of conflicting medications.
- Your current medication is not working for you. If you are already experiencing drug side effects, it may be time to switch your medication. Genetic testing can help you find the best medication based on your DNA.
Give genetic testing a chance to help you feel better. Our team at ClarityX is here to help. After a quick
DNA swab test for medication, you will receive a comprehensive report with valuable information regarding your response to potential medicines. The Mindwell test at ClarityX carefully looks at your response to 130+ FDA approved mental health medications. Contact ClarityX for better control of your health.