What is pharmacogenomics?

In simple language, pharmacogenomics is the study of how a person’s genetic make-up determines his or her response to pharmaceutical drugs.

Why is pharmacogenomics testing necessary?

No drug delivers a “one size fits all” promise. In fact, adverse drug reactions hospitalize two million people and cause 100,000 deaths each year in the United States. Predicting a patient’s response to a certain drug is the chief goal of pharmacogenomics research.  Genetic variations affect the metabolism of psychotropic drugs, potentially delaying their effectiveness or causing unwanted side effects. A doctor armed with genetic information can better assess the benefits and risks of introducing a medicine into a patient’s treatment.

How do I participate in pharmacogenomics testing?

At the Integrative Center for Wellness, we provide two forms of genetic testing, which analyze two types of genes: pharmacokinetic genes—those that indicate how the body will metabolize drugs—and pharmacodynamics genes, which indicate how certain drugs will affect the body biochemically and physiologically. Both tests are simple, quick (under 30 seconds), and conducted in-office. Neither involves needles or the use of cumbersome equipment. Results are generally available within a few days. The tests are reimbursed by many insurance providers and can also be covered through patient assistance plans. Please note that even though genetic testing is highly recommended due to its treatment enhancements, it is entirely voluntary.

The Genecept Assay from Genomind is a saliva-based test that provides a proprietary panel of ten biomarkers and an analytic report.  93% of participating clinicians indicate the report increased their confidence in treatment decisions.

The GeneSightRx from AssureRx Health utilizes a cotton cheek swab. Their CLIA-certified and CAP-accredited laboratory returns a report detailing the patient’s genetic variants, the most commonly prescribed medications and corresponding color-coded cautionary levels depending on the patient’s genes, and a drug interaction table indicating potential conflicting substances.