Personalization has been on the rise across numerous industries in the past several years, including marketing, retail, food & beverage and many more. But until more recently, the idea of personalizing medications wasn’t widespread. Thanks to pharmacogenomics, this has changed. Today, pharmacogenomics and personalized medicine go hand-in-hand and can help patients receive the best medical treatment possible for them and their unique bodies. Here’s an overview of how this works.
Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine
How a patient responds to a medication has always depended upon numerous factors, like their age, lifestyle choices, dietary habits or environmental influences. But genes also play a role. This is why pharmacogenetic (PGx) testing can help. These tests scan patients’ genetic profiles for genes that may contribute to adverse responses to medications.
PGx testing can help a physician identify medications that will be most effective – and avoid those that could lead to serious side effects – before the patient takes a single dose. It can also be useful in guiding physicians when they’re adjusting the dosage of medications. The end result is precision, and clarity about the best medical treatment possible for a specific individual.
Furthermore, PGx testing can be used to help determine the right management of postoperative pain, which is often otherwise a minefield of trial and error (and potential opioid addiction). By understanding how a body will process pain medication – and risk of side effects – the right prescriptions and dosages can be administered.
Pharmacogenomics also can compress the typically lengthy timeline that people who suffer from depression or anxiety have to endure while trying to find a medication that actually helps them. So if a patient has taken antidepressant medications without symptom relief, or has a family history of poor response to such medications, PGx testing could be the best next step.
Finally, understanding individuals’ pharmacogenomics increases adherence to medication regimens. When the wrong prescriptions are given, or dosages aren’t personalized, discomfort and side effects are often the results, prompting many patients to stop taking their medicine altogether. The right prescription at the right dose, conversely, can make all the difference in giving a patient relief and motivating them to follow through on their treatment plan.
Pharmacogenomics and personalized medicine are the way of the future, but they’re also available right now. By partnering with Molecular Testing Labs (MTL), you can gain access to the latest PGx testing and help your patients understand their genes, how they process medications and the best medical treatment for their specific situation. Interested in learning more? Give us a call!