If you’re like me, you’ve probably heard the term pharmacogenomics (PGx), but don’t know what it means. You might even have jumped to the conclusion that it’s some sort of a health trend for the wealthy and elite. Well, fear not: PGx testing is here to revolutionize how health care providers treat patients with medications. Here, we will explain what PGx testing is and why you should be excited about it—and maybe even ask your doctor about it next time you go to see them!
What is pharmacogenomics?
Pharmacogenomics is the study of how genetic variation affects an individual’s response to drugs. It is used to predict how a patient will respond to a drug, and it can be used to identify the best drug for a patient.
What does PGx testing involve?
PGx testing is a simple cheek swap test. The sample will be taken either by you at home or in your doctor’s office. Then, the lab will perform analysis to see if you have any of the genes that determine whether you will respond well or poorly to certain medications. The results can mean you’re more likely than average to experience side effects when taking certain drugs. Or it means you are less likely than average to experience these side effects.
How does PGx testing work for patients?
Not every drug works the same way in every person, even if they have the same condition. For example, if your doctor gives you medicine for high blood pressure, it might work great in one person but not so well in another. The more information about how each individual’s body reacts to different medications, the easier it will be for doctors to prescribe an effective treatment plan that works with their patients’ specific genetic makeup.
The good news is that PGx testing can be done at home—you don’t have to go anywhere special or make any appointments! All you need to do is order a kit online, and perform the cheek swap at the comfort of your home. A personalized recommendation will be given to you after reviewing the results with checking for all possible drug-drug or drug-gene interactions.
What are the benefits of pharmacogenomics testing?
PGx testing is already being used to improve patient outcomes and reduce costs. Since the health care system in the United States is increasingly moving toward PGx testing, it’s important for you to know what this means for your health.
One of the primary benefits of PGx testing is that it can help you avoid unnecessary side effects from medications. In some cases, these side effects can be severe enough to prevent patients from taking their prescribed medications at all. In others, they may cause them to stop taking the drug early in order to avoid further pain or discomfort. With better understanding, patients are able to take steps like talking with their doctor about lowering dosage, or switching medications altogether so that they get effective relief without having adverse reactions. All of this, of course, based on science-driven data from your PGx report and based on your health conditions, and your doctor clinical judgment.
Another benefit of PGx testing is that it can make treatment more cost effective by reducing medical costs related to unnecessary prescriptions and hospitalizations due to adverse reactions caused by inappropriate dosing or otherwise inappropriate use based on genetic differences between individuals (such as those who have allergies).
What are the risks of pharmacogenomics testing?
- The test might not be 100% accurate. As with any medical test, there’s always a chance that the results are wrong.
- It can be expensive. If you choose to take the PGx test, you’ll need to pay for it out of pocket (some insurances may cover the test though).
- It can be time consuming. From the time of the first visit to getting the results and you personalized report, it can take on average 7-21 days to get everything done. But it is still worth it! Only one test in your lifetime, and the results will still apply for any new medication if it was included in the report.
The more information your doctor has about you, the more likely they will be to identify the best treatment options for you.
Pharmacogenomics testing is a powerful tool that can help you and your doctor find the best possible treatment options for your unique needs. It’s important to remember that there are risks involved with any test. If you have questions about PGx testing or want to find out if this test is right for you, speak with an expert who can answer all of them. Call us if needed!
Where Can I Get Pharmacogenomic Testing?
Care GenomiX offers personalized consulting services for your need. Contact us to order your pharmacogemoics or nutriogenomics test. Having hard time managing your medications? We are here to help managing your medications with our comprehensive medication management service.