How Pharmacogenetic Testing Can Help Determine the Best Medication for Your Depression

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How Pharmacogenetic Testing Can Help Determine the Best Medication for Your Depression

Genetics determine your physical and biological traits, from hair color to blood type. They also dictate how you react to different medications. Whether you have a bad reaction or no reaction to a drug is partly due to your DNA.

Thanks to a burgeoning field of science called pharmacogenetics, we now have a simple genetic test to help assess the impact and likely success certain medications will have on individual patients. Pharmacogenetic testing gives physicians the necessary information to personalize treatment based on each patient’s DNA. 

Pharmacogenetics, also called pharmacogenomics, is an especially valuable tool in treating mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. There are dozens of psychotropic drugs on the market, and finding the best one to address these problems is a complex process. Often, patients must try several drugs to find one or a combination of several that deliver effective results without intolerable side effects.

At Breakthru Psychiatric Solutions in Sandy Springs, Georgia, Dr. Karen Giles is committed to offering the most advanced, evidence-based methods to help patients with depression. Dr. Giles often recommends genetic testing to fine-tune antidepressant medication in conjunction with ketamine or TMS to address chronic, treatment-resistant depression. Here she breaks down how it works.

What pharmacogenetic testing entails

Dr. Giles uses pharmacogenetic testing from Genomind, a leader in the field that has helped over 300,000 patients find the best medication for them. Testing requires no patient prep, just a simple, in-office cheek swab. Results are then delivered within a week and boast a 99.9% laboratory accuracy. 

What can be learned from pharmacogenetic testing?

Key findings include learning:

  • whether a particular medicine could be effective for you
  • what the best dosage might be for you
  • whether you will have a severe side effect from a medicine
  • whether a drug may negatively interact with another drug

Benefits of pharmacogenetic testing

Pharmacogenetic testing provides multiple patient benefits, including:

  • reducing exhaustive trial and error by providing us with genetic information that can narrow down medication options
  • preventing potentially harmful medication or gene-related interactions that can cause unwanted side effects
  • saving you money and emotional strain, and time due to additional healthcare visits

If you’re struggling with chronic, treatment-resistant depression and haven’t found effective relief, pharmacogenetic testing in conjunction with other interventional therapies could change that. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Giles at Breakthru Psychiatric Solution online or by phone to learn more.