• WHAT IS PHARMACOGENOMIC TESTING?

    by Saima Jehangir, MD/MPH, FACOG
    on Feb 16th, 2016

Drug-gene testing is also called pharmacogenomics, or pharmacogenetics. All terms characterize the study of how your genes affect your body’s response to medications.

Your body has thousands of genes that you inherited from your parents. Some genes are responsible for how your body processes medications. Pharmacogenomic tests look for changes or variants in these genes that may determine whether a medication could be an effective treatment for you or whether you could have side effects to a specific medication.

More than 75% of patients have significant genetic variations in the most important cytochromes that impact drug metabolism.
Adverse drug reactions threaten the health of more than 2 million people each year. Millions more endure the cost and discomfort of treatments that are ineffective

Who to Test:

It is impossible to identify if a patient has differences in their DNA that impact how they metabolize drugs by performing a physical examination. Pharmacogenomic testing is suggested for patients that fit one or more of the following criteria:

Patient has not received relief from their current prescription medication
Patient has a family or personal history of unexpected outcomes from certain medications
Patient takes multiple prescriptions
Patient wants to be proactive and determine their phenotype (drug metabolism type) prior to taking a new medication

Why Test:

Personalized Pharmacogenomic Testing provides physicians with the opportunity to move beyond a trial and error approach when prescribing medications. Physicians receive a comprehensive, easy to read report to be used as a guide in the management of medications based on each patient’s genetic makeup.

Test results provide patient specific information regarding:

The unique drug metabolizing capacity of a patient
Potential adverse drug reactions and interactions
Safer drug alternatives

How is the Test Performed:

Buccal ( cheek) swab technology enables a DNA sample to be obtained from patients in a non-invasive manner. The specimen is shipped directly to a CLIA certified genetic laboratory where the test is performed on state of the art equipment. Through this process the specimen and the patient’s personal information are protected by our compliance with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act).

If you are interested in DNA testing to see which medications may or may not work for you please make an appointment to come see us!

Author Saima Jehangir, MD/MPH, FACOG Dr. Jehangir is dedicated to providing holistic care and protecting and maintaining the health and wellbeing of her patients' body, mind, and emotions. After earning a bachelor’s degree in zoology and a master’s degree in public health, Dr. Jehangir completed her medical degree at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

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