Understanding Genetic Testing for Mental Health Medications
Finding the right medications for mental health issues can be challenging, as each person’s response to treatment can vary significantly. It can be frustrating to experience no improvement or even worsening symptoms after starting a new medication for depression or anxiety.
Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence in mental health treatment. Research indicates that around 66% of people with depression don’t achieve complete relief from their initial medication, and a large portion of children prescribed antidepressants may not respond adequately.
However, your genetics play a crucial role in how you respond to medication. It can determine whether certain drugs will be effective for you and whether you might experience unwanted side effects or poor reactions. Through the use of genetic testing specifically designed for mental health medications, your doctor can pinpoint which drugs are more likely to work for you, as well as determine the optimal dosage. This approach can potentially minimise the trial-and-error process often associated with conventional treatment methods.
By harnessing the power of genetic testing, we can unlock a personalised approach to mental health medications, providing you with targeted and effective treatments tailored to your unique genetic makeup.
How genetic testing for medication works
Genetic testing for medication response is called pharmacogenetics, also referred to as pharmacogenomics or PGx. This innovative science combines the knowledge of pharmacology, which explores how drugs interact with the body with the study of genomics, which focuses on understanding our DNA.
For instance, let’s consider the Myogenes Psychiatric Pharmacogenetic Test. This test examines specific genes that have the potential to influence your clinician’s decisions regarding medication selection and dosage adjustments for conditions such as ADHD, depression, and other mental health disorders. By analysing your unique genetic markers, this test provides valuable insights into which treatments are more likely to be effective and which may carry a higher risk of unwanted side effects.
By delving into your genetic makeup, genetic testing for medication response enables doctors to make informed decisions, tailoring your treatment plan to maximise desired outcomes while minimising complications. It offers a personalised approach that takes into account your genetic profile, paving the way for more precise and effective medication choices.
Myogenes’ pharmacogenetic testing employs two key mechanisms to assist clinicians in determining the most suitable medication treatment: pharmacokinetic effects and pharmacodynamic effects.
One crucial aspect involves the control exerted by specific enzymes over the breakdown process of medications within your liver and body. These enzymes determine the speed at which drugs are metabolised, leading to significant implications for their effectiveness:
- Rapid drug metabolism may result in a lack of benefits or higher dosage requirements.
- Slow drug metabolism may lead to nasty side effects or a potential overdose, often necessitating lower dosage or alternative medication choices.
Myogenes examines six genes responsible for encoding enzymes involved in the breakdown of 90 percent of all medications. By understanding how individuals metabolise the majority of their medications, we can precisely tailor the dosage of prescribed treatments.
In addition to pharmacokinetic effects, specific genetic mutations can help predict how a particular medication will affect your body. Understanding your genetic makeup in these areas provides personalised insights for your doctor when it comes to prescribing medications.
By unravelling the intricate interplay between pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic effects, Myogenes’ pharmacogenetic testing equips healthcare providers with vital information to optimize medication choices and dosages for enhanced treatment outcomes tailored to each individual’s unique genetic profile.
How to start genetic testing for mental health medications
The testing procedure is typically straightforward and painless. For instance, Myogenes’ Psychiatric PGx test offers a convenient and non-invasive method. It requires a simple cheek swab sample, which can be easily collected either at the comfort of your own home or at your doctor’s office.
It’s important to note that a doctor is needed to interpret your test results. They will need to sign a requisition form that states that they agree to receive and interpret your results. You can either do this in person yourself, email over the form, or Myogenes can contact your doctor for you.
Once your sample reaches our lab, the comprehensive analysis begins. Within five to seven business days, your doctor will receive the detailed results and schedule a follow-up appointment with you. Additionally, you have the option to authorise other healthcare professionals to access your results, ensuring a collaborative approach to your treatment.
In addition to the test itself, Myogenes provides a consultation between your doctor and a geneticist at our lab to answer any questions they may have regarding your results.
It’s important to note that the specific genes analysed by the test remain constant over time, providing a lifetime value to your health decisions. While the test may evolve and include an expanded set of genes in the future, the results you obtain will continue to guide your healthcare choices for years to come, ensuring a more tailored and effective approach to your mental health treatment.
Empower your mental health journey with lifelong guidance. Myogenes’ cutting-edge psychiatric pharmacogenetic test is specifically designed to assist your doctor in tailoring your treatment plan according to your unique genetic profile. Take the first step today and unlock a more personalised approach to your mental health care.