Pharmacogenomics is a section of genetics that studies the function of the genome in drug response. It concerns how a person’s genetics affect their response to therapeutic medicine. We all know certain medicine that works for one person but fails for another. These response differences occur due to age, and gender, among other things.
However, most of us have variations that affect how our bodies react to popular medications. Modern genetic testing in the pharmacogenomic field enables doctors to detect these variations and determine how their patients will react to a new medicine.
These tests do not resemble genome sequencing that provides information regarding your ancestry or your chances of getting certain diseases. Below we discuss everything you need to know about pharmacogenomics.
Over the past decade, the general public has received information that genes must not necessarily express themselves. Pharmacogenomics depends on the understanding that all medicine is taken via numerous pathways for breakage after they are taken.
Our genes create these biochemical pathways responsible for breaking drugs down, but some people have mutations. This means it does not allow them to break these drugs down, or they break them down too fast.
Individuals that cannot break these drugs have high levels in their blood, and they experience allergic reactions and other side effects. The best thing about this test is it is done once in a lifetime. Individuals do not need to redo it since it shows the hard-to-break drugs, and that is based on your DNA.
Another benefit of having this test is the report’s first page summarizes your genetic polymorphisms. You can hand this document to your doctor in case of an emergency to help him determine which drugs are suitable for you in the ER.
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What you Should Know About Pharmacogenetics
Knowing the pharmacogenetics basics and how it differs from others will help you know whether these tests are worth it. Below we discuss what you should know;
- It is not a risk predictor.
Pharmacogenetics is not used to measure a disease risk, unlike most genetic tests. It informs doctors about the best treatment options by studying how genes affect your reaction to medicine. Its tests also do not show how your body will respond to all medications. This research only supports certain drugs, mainly those in cardiology.
- This test has value in your entire life.
Medical experts can analyze a vast amount of information by studying your genes. Your genes do not change with time, meaning you only need one test to know the genetic information you need. Pharmacogenetics is also perfect for non-responders. These individuals have tried different drugs in search of one that will treat their symptoms.
The tests can indicate why these individuals did not respond to medicine before.
It is advisable to have a goal to maximize on pharmacogenetics testing. Ensure the test covers all medications and that they are related to your clinical situation. The above article has discussed everything you need to know about pharmacogenetics.