Thanks to today’s advances in technology and genetic testing, our healthcare providers at the Traini Counseling Group can now offer genetic medication testing to our patients through GeneSight®.
What is Genetic Medication Testing?
Genetic medication testing, also known as pharmacogenomic testing or pharmacogenetics testing, allows patients and health care professionals to better understand how your genes affect your body’s response to medications.
Each individual has thousands of genes that they inherit from their parents, and each gene determines different characteristics. These characteristics can range from something as simple and benign as eye color and blood type, to more serious characteristics, such as whether you are predisposed to certain cancers. Pharmacogenetic testing looks specifically for genetic variations that may determine whether certain medications could be particularly beneficial or disagreeable for you.
Mental healthcare professionals in particular use pharmacogenetic testing or genetic tests to determine which medications for mental illnesses may work best for you, what dosage is best, and what medications may cause you adverse side effects.
At the Traini Counseling Group, we use GeneSight® tests, pharmacogenetic testing which “particularly analyzes how your genes may affect your outcomes with medications commonly prescribed to treat depression, anxiety, ADHD, and other mental health conditions” (genesight.com). In particular, we use GeneSight® to test for how psychotropic medications may beneficially or adversely affect you and your overall treatment.
How does Genetic Medication Testing work?
Once it is determined that a GeneSight® test is right for you, receiving a test and completing it is easy!
Step 1 – We collect a DNA sample by painlessly swabbing the inside of your cheek for a saliva sample.
Step 2 – We send the sample to the GeneSight® lab for testing.
Step 3 – After the sample is received by GeneSight®, we typically get results in about two days.
Step 4 – We review the results with you during your next appointment.
It’s important to keep in mind that pharmacogenetic tests do have limitations. Most importantly, genetic testing is not available for all medications and only a single genetic medication test can test your genes reactions to a single psychiatric medication. If your healthcare provider wants to test your response to multiple medications, multiple tests will be needed.
What are the Benefits of Genetic Medication Testing?
When drug therapy is usually prescribed, healthcare providers prescribe a “standard” dose based on such factors as weight, sex, and age. However, everyone’s response to medication is unique, and sometimes drug dosages have to be adjusted, or entire medications switched. Other times, individuals can experience unpleasant and dangerous side effects from medications. In addition, sometimes medications that were once deemed “safe” begin to cause adverse reactions when taken with additional treatments.
Therapeutic drug monitoring most often resolves issues like these, however, with genetic medication testing, most adverse reactions and guess work can be taken completely out of the picture.
Genetic medication testing/pharmacogenetics testing allows mental healthcare providers the opportunity to individualize drug therapy for people based on their genetic makeup. By testing individuals before administering medication, we can determine likely responses, proper dosages and the likelihood of adverse effects, without going through the frustration of trying different doses or different medications. Genetic medication testing can be thought of as “hyper personalized medicine,” or a way to scientifically define what is best for you and your body.
How Do I Start Genetic Medication Testing?
To sign up for genetic medication testing with GeneSight® through the Traini Counseling Group in Flint, MI, you’ll first meet with one of our healthcare providers to see if genetic medication testing is the best fit for you and your needs. Feel free to contact our office at 810-877-6343 or fill out our contact form here. We are here for any and all of your questions about genetic medication testing or about GeneSight® specifically.
Because we’re ready for you! Please don’t hesitate to call us at our office, email us or use our online form by clicking the button below. Whenever you’re ready, we’re here to help you thrive!