Ever wonder where the anecdote “take two of these and call me in the morning,” come from? Each and every person has a unique genetic profile that affects how they metabolize different medications. So that follow-up with the prescribing physician is actually to monitor for notable side-effects, potential allergies, as well as determine the efficacy of that particular medication.
Surely, at some point in your life, you or someone you’re close with has been a primary cause for why physicians monitor medication reactions. Perhaps just a couple Tylenol work wonders for your headache, but it has absolutely no impact on your spouse; Maybe you’re prescribed Penicillin when needing an antibiotic, but your sibling goes into anaphylactic shock; what about an elder relative – they may take one type of medication for high blood pressure, however that same medication has very little efficacy on the next person.
The scary part comes to play with what qualifies as a pharmaceutical-based, adverse drug reaction – this could be anything from a headache, a rash, loss of consciousness, anaphylactic shock, gastrointestinal issues, or even death. Annually there are over 2 million hospitalizations due to ADRs and 100,000+ ADR related deaths, in the US alone. Even more disturbing is that the guess-work can be taken out of much of the prescribing which results in adverse drug reactions.
The age of modern medicine has brought us something called pharmacogenomics: the study of how your genetic profile affects your metabolism of medication and subsequently results in these variations. Much like other modern technology, modern medicine has become more reliable, cost-effective and generally more accessible. Access to this information in a readable, easy-to-understand, all while being affordable, is now a reality.
How PGX Testing Works for You
- Results show how your genetic makeup may affect drug metabolism and effectiveness.
- Reduces the risk of adverse reactions and enables the correct dosage.
- Reduces out-of-pocket costs that are associated with trial and error.
- PGX explains why every patient doesn’t do well with the same medication.
- The “personalized medicine” approach ensures maximum efficiencies with minimal adverse effects.
Understanding your genetic makeup increases the value of personal health care benefits and gives you a powerful tool to manage your medication safety and effectiveness. It might also be the solution that encourages you to take your drug therapy regimen more seriously. Medication adherence is a tremendous burden in the field of healthcare, and you can make a difference by educating yourself on the advantages of PGX testing.