Our human genome is made up of billions of pairs of DNA that hold the blueprints for our anatomy, providing the instructions for what color hair and eyes we have and how tall we’ll be, among other things.
While we live in an age where we understand more about the human body and medical study than previous generations, there are still mysteries in the medical field. With advancements in genomics, doctors can not only predict diseases but better diagnose and treat them.
Genetic testing is responsible for identifying genetic markers for heredity diseases and conditions. Early detection and preventative care increase the odds of successful treatment and recovery from it. Those with certain family medical histories may want to take action long before symptoms appear for themselves or even their children.
Our genes influence how our bodies metabolize certain medications. For example, you may have heard some people react differently to anesthesia and need the dosage adjusted and monitored during surgery.
Part of the reason for this is not every person’s body responds to certain medications or drugs the same way. The answer could lie in understanding how an individual’s physical body metabolizes and reacts to these medications.
In the United States, ADEs, or adverse drug events, are a serious public health concern. ADEs lead to unexpected visits to the emergency room, hospitalizations, and even death. Many adults in the United States are regularly taking at least one medication, some taking several medications at once to treat multiple conditions.
Unfortunately, many people go through trial-and-error prescriptions before finding the right medication for them. More than half of the population actively taking medication are not dosing correctly in large part to the misalignment between their unique metabolism and the medication.
Through pharmacogenomics testing, doctors can get a better picture of how some medications can be affected by a patient’s genes, including medications for pain, cardiology, and psychiatric care.
Parents might find it very helpful and informative for their family doctor to use pharmacogenomic testing before their child takes a new medication.
When it comes to adverse drug events, pharmacogenomics testing aims to reduce the chances of failed drug treatment, adverse responses to medication, and the amount of medication for a patient.
Deciding to implement pharmacogenomics testing will be case-by-case for doctors and patients. If a patient has a family medical history of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, or any other condition that can be passed on hereditarily, the results of pharmacogenomics testing can inform the best treatment plan–or better yet–proactive screening, monitoring, and care.
Evaluating the results of pharmacogenomics testing alongside other factors such as age, weight, lifestyle, and previous medical history will help doctors develop a more informed and effective treatment plan.
Pharmacogenomics testing can aid doctors in determining if a particular medication will best benefit a patient as well as the dosage most effective for them. The results of the testing can also help predict how a patient will respond and potential side effects.
Overall, genetic testing–and specifically pharmacogenomics testing–creates a more comprehensive and better quality of care and outcomes.
For more information on genetic testing, contact us by phone during business hours or use our contact form any time of day. We’ll do everything to answer your questions on how necessary is genetic testing.