Genetic testing for ADHD medication

Genetic Testing for ADHD

In the U.S. alone, over 9% of children and 4% of adults have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This common mental disorder affects one’s attention span and self-control, leading to trouble staying focused, developing relationships and succeeding in school or work. At ClarityX, we offer extensive ADHD genetic testing to help you make the best choice possible when it comes to treatment.

When introducing a new drug into your system, there’s always the chance that your body will react negatively or even reject it entirely. 

To help counteract the effects of ADHD, more and more people are turning toward medication. While this can be an effective way to manage the symptoms of ADHD, it can also be harmful. Here’s a closer look at the role genetics play in ADHD treatment and how we can help.

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Pharmacogenetic Testing
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What Types of ADHD Medications Are There?

Statistics show that, among children with ADHD, approximately 75% are on a medication-based treatment. This number is even higher for young adults, with 85% claiming to use drugs to treat the condition. While medication can help deter the effects of ADHD, it can be difficult to choose the right type. Patients are presented with an overwhelming amount of options, most of which fall into one of two categories:

While stimulants tend to be more effective than non-stimulants, they also come with more side effects. Most doctors start by prescribing one of 29 FDA-approved stimulant drugs, which may be adjusted over the course of treatment. After some time, if the patient does not seem to benefit from the stimulant, then they may transition to a non-stimulant.

How Are ADHD Medications Prescribed?

When it comes to selecting a specific type of drug (such as Adderall or Ritalin), many doctors will play a game of trial and error. A certain drug may be prescribed based on factors like age, gender and medical history, then adjusted if the patient doesn’t respond well. Not only is this process time-consuming, but it can also lead to a slew of negative side effects. These include:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Decreased appetite and weight loss
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Headaches and stomach aches
  • Moodiness and irritability

Sometimes, side effects occur because the patient is on the wrong dosage or doesn’t follow their doctor’s instructions. However, in many cases, patients have no control over how their body will respond to a drug — rather, it’s determined by genetics.

Women that takes antidepressants
Doctor selecting ADHD Medication

How Do Genetics Influence Drug Metabolism?

Found in deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), genes are inherited from our parents. They play a huge role in our lives, influencing everything from appearance and personality traits to behavior and health. One of the most important functions of genes is building proteins called enzymes, which are in charge of metabolizing (or breaking down) medication.

Just like how every person looks different, everybody’s enzymes react differently to certain drugs. While one individual may be able to metabolize a medication with ease, another might struggle to break down the substance. When an enzyme reacts too quickly, the drug does not have the chance to be effective — when it reacts too slowly, the drug is left in the body and causes harmful side effects.

While we cannot necessarily control our genes, we can learn more about them. Genetic testing for ADHD medication examines how a person’s enzymes metabolize certain medications, allowing them to make more informed, effective choices.

Female patient With depression
ClarityX Genetic Testing for ADHD

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What Is ADHD Genetic Testing?

ADHD genetic testing, a type of pharmacogenetic testing, examines your DNA to identify any mutations that may cause an adverse effect to certain drugs. Typically, pharmacogenetics focuses on genes that encode a specific type of enzyme (cytochrome P450). Known as CYP450 enzymes, these affect the metabolism of over 70% of clinically used drugs.

Genetic testing for ADHD medication is fairly straightforward — in most cases, a sample of blood is taken intravenously and tested separately. A DNA swab test for ADHD medication is also an option. While genetic testing for ADHD won’t necessarily tell you the exact medication you should choose, it will help narrow down the choices and prevent your doctor from prescribing an ineffective or harmful drug.

Do I Need Genetic Testing For ADHD?

While anybody can reap the benefits of a drug test for ADHD medication, some people may need it more than others. You should undergo pharmacogenetic testing if the following applies to you:

  • Your current medication is ineffective: Genetic testing can help you shorten, or even skip, the standard “trial and error” procedure.

  • You are prone to side effects: You know your body more than anyone — if you tend to suffer side effects from medications, such as headaches or nausea, you may benefit from genetic testing.

  • You have an underlying medical condition: Testing can help ensure that you are not placed on any medications that may interfere with your condition.

  • You have a family history of adverse effects: If any family members have had negative reactions to medications, you may be at a higher risk.

Even if your current medication is working, genetic testing can help prepare you for making future treatment decisions.

Get A Drug Test For ADHD Medication Today!

Taking care of your health is easier said than done, especially when you don’t even know what your health requirements are. By giving you essential knowledge about your body and metabolism rates, ADHD genetic testing can help you narrow down your medication options and select the treatment that is best for your overall well-being.

At ClarityX, we believe that every person with ADHD deserves immediate access to high-quality treatment — there’s no reason why you should experiment with different drugs and put your body through a myriad of side effects just to find one that works. That’s why we offer a comprehensive mental wellness test that examines your genetic variations and helps pinpoint the best medication and dosage for you. Contact us today to learn more!

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