Every year, over 43 million Americans experience mental illness. While some people may have a temporary episode, others have ongoing conditions — about one in every 25 Americans lives with a serious mental condition, such as a psychotic disorder.
The topic of mental health has traditionally been considered taboo, resulting in conditions going undiagnosed and untreated. Nowadays, mental health is openly discussed, and more and more people are seeking the treatment they need. Unfortunately, in some cases, this treatment may do more harm than good. Here’s a closer look at how psychotic disorders are treated and how a genetic swab test for medication can help.
Psychotic disorders are conditions that cause irrational thinking and delusions that don’t align with reality. People with these disorders typically experience false beliefs, mood swings and even hallucinations. Examples of these disorders include:
In most cases, psychotic conditions are treated with psychiatric medications, or antipsychotics, which work by changing your brain chemistry to reduce common psychotic symptoms. Antipsychotics may also be used to treat mood disorders like major depression and bipolar disorder.
Although antipsychotics can be effective in reducing mental health symptoms, they come with their own range of side effects. In some patients, these drugs may cause drowsiness, heart palpitations, muscle spasms, and — in severe cases — changes to blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Since there are several antipsychotics available on the market, most doctors will play a game of “trial and error,” prescribing different kinds until they find one that works for you. Not only is this process time-consuming, but it also forces your body to go through a series of side effects just to find a treatment that works. While this may sound frustrating, there is a solution available: genetic testing for medication efficacy.
Genetic testing for medication, also known as drug gene testing, examines your DNA to help determine your response to certain drugs. Every DNA molecule contains genes, which are responsible for producing proteins called enzymes. These proteins affect how you metabolize drugs. If they work too quickly, the drug is broken down before it has a chance to function — if they work too slowly, the drug is left in your system for longer than necessary.
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 antipsychotics.
Those that are unfamiliar with genetic testing for medication sensitivity often wonder: how does it work? One of the best things about the genetic testing process is that it’s both quick and simple — all that’s required is a saliva sample that can be taken at home.
Once we’ve collected the genetic swab test for medication, the ClarityX team can analyze it and give you insight into your body’s response to over 450 types of FDA-approved medications. Some of the information you’ll learn from your genetic swab test includes:
Ultimately, the purpose of genetic testing for medication is to help you make better treatment choices for your overall health, happiness and wellness.
Anybody that’s using psychiatric medications, as well as drugs for other mental conditions or a heart condition, should consider getting a DNA swab test for medication. Drug gene testing is especially important if any of the following applies to you:
If you’re ready to give genetic testing a shot, our team at ClarityX is here to help. After a quick DNA swab test for medication, we’ll give you a comprehensive report with valuable information regarding your response to common antipsychotics and mental health medications. We also offer a molecular advisor that can go through your results and address any questions you may have. Take control over your health by getting a genetic swab test for medication today!