Genetic testing for ADHD medication

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmental condition. According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), an estimated 5% of all U.S. children are diagnosed with ADHD.

One of the major challenges of prescribing ADHD medication is finding the right combination of medications and the correct dosages. It can take months, and even years, to determine the best medicine and dosage for people with ADHD. Doctors must strike the perfect balance of prescribing medication that diminishes symptoms while minimizing the risk of side effects.

Genetic testing for ADHD medication is an exciting new scientific development that could all but eliminate the often frustrating trial and error process experienced by people with ADHD.

What is ADHD?

ADHD remains one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders in the world. Typically, ADHD is first diagnosed in childhood, but the effects last well into adulthood. Living with ADHD is a challenge for men and women of all ages. Symptoms of ADHD include:

  • Difficulties paying attention
  • Problems with impulse control
  • Being overly active
  • Fidgeting
  • Excessive talking and interrupting 

 

People living with ADHD often struggle to participate in and engage with the modern world, whether at school or work. Without the proper medication, people with ADHD find tackling the challenges of day-to-day life difficult. Prescription medications, such as Adderall, are effective at managing ADHD symptoms. However, patients often have to try several different medications and constantly manage dosing in collaboration with their healthcare providers.

Is ADHD Genetic?

ADHD is one of the least understood neurodevelopmental disorders. The exact causes and risk factors are unknown, but researchers have steadily managed to paint a picture of who may be more likely to suffer from the condition. Up to one-half of parents with ADHD will have a child who also has ADHD. Genetic characteristics can be passed down to children, which is why DNA testing for ADHD medication is a potential game-changer for treating the disorder.

How Does Genetic Testing for ADHD Work?

The concept of ADHD genetic testing is quite simple. By examining a patient’s genes, doctors can examine how the body metabolizes a certain drug. Doctors utilize these results to determine which medications are most likely to work for the patient. When used successfully, genetic testing for ADHD medication can better enable doctors to find the correct dosages that balance beneficial treatment with the limitation of side effects. There are multiple ways to carry out these examinations, including a blood test for ADHD medication and an ADHD swab test.

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How is Genetic Testing for ADHD Beneficial?

Genetic testing for ADHD medication offers numerous benefits to patients, including:

  • Find the Best Medications Genetic testing for ADHD medications plays an important role in finding the best options. It drastically cuts down on the trial and error process.
  • Limiting Side Effects – An ADHD swab test can help doctors avoid prescribing medications with severe side effects for individual patients.
  • Correct Dosages – By investigating drug metabolization rates, doctors have more data to prescribe dosages that limit ADHD symptoms while reducing the risk of side effects.

While this is a breakthrough form of testing, it could help both doctors and patients better treat ADHD. There’s little to no consistency in how different patients will react to various prescription drugs. Amphetamines like Adderall cause nausea in select people. Atomoxetine is another example of a prescription ADHD treatment that may cause unintended side effects, such as lingering side effects and diminished treatment. By using genetic testing, healthcare providers may save patients a considerable amount of frustration and discomfort when treating ADHD.

Genetic Testing for ADHD Medications

A DNA swab test for ADHD medication can be carried out in a doctor’s office and doesn’t require a visit to the hospital. Clinicians simply have to take a cheek swab or a blood sample and then send it to an approved lab, where the results will be analyzed. However, due to the lack of CDC guidelines, healthcare insurers typically will not cover genetic testing for medications. Even if that is the case for you, ClarityX may have options that can help. 

It’s important to mention that the CDC currently does not recommend the use of ADHD genetic testing. While it is not foolproof, as genetics only play a partial role in the onset of ADHD, the medical community has reported benefits. Research remains ongoing. Currently, only animal studies and small human studies have confirmed their results.

Conclusion

Genetic testing for ADHD medication has demonstrated incredible results during the early phases of its rollout. There are several private providers of both blood tests and DNA swabs ADHD patients can choose from. While DNA testing for medication may not be for everybody, it could yield benefits for you. 

ClarityX specializes in precision medicine for those who need it most. If you want to learn more about how genetic testing can help determine the right ADHD medications for you, contact ClarityX now.

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