Personalized prescribing uses pharmacogenomics, or drug-gene interactions, to guide clinical decision-making and improve patient outcomes. This field of medicine is rapidly changing and advancing, enabling people to become advocates for their healthcare and helping providers choose better medications to manage many common conditions.
Here’s how leveraging pharmacogenomics can lead to more targeted therapies and proactive preventive care.
Pharmacogenomics is part of the field of precision medicine and offers insight into how a person’s genes affect their response to medications. Genes impact how medications work as they help build protein molecules known as enzymes, which are involved in the breakdown of medications. Individuals who don’t respond to medications as expected may have genetic differences that change the amount of enzyme made or how well it works.
Enzymes may break down a medication too quickly, slowly, or not at all. In those cases, a typical medication dosage won’t work as intended, resulting result in side effects or no impact at all. Pharmacogenomic testing can help healthcare providers prescribe a medication that leads to fewer side effects or one that may work better.
How pharmacogenomic testing can help guide treatment
Pharmacogenomics may help find appropriate medications and doses more quickly. Some examples include:
Finding the right antidepressant for depression treatment is often a journey involving much trial and error and adverse side effects. Less than 40% of patients achieve remission during the first medication trial . Pharmacogenomic testing can offer insight into drug-gene interactions to improve decision-making and antidepressant therapy outcomes.
Pharmacogenomics can also help with response and toxicity to chemotherapy . Suboptimal management of supportive-care symptoms plays a big role in patients’ response to therapy. Pharmacogenomic testing can help healthcare providers guide supportive care for adverse effects such as nausea and vomiting, pain, depression, neuropathy, and infections in chemotherapy patients and improve treatment plans.
High cholesterol is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Lipid-lowering medications are key to preventing cardiovascular disease. Unfortunately, the lack of efficacy and associated adverse effects, ranging from mild to moderate to potentially life-threatening, can lead to patients discontinuing their medication. Genetically guided lipid-lowering therapy can help enhance overall safety, improve drug adherence, and achieve long-term therapy.
Leverage pharmacogenomics with LetsGetChecked
Knowledge of drug-gene interactions can enable safer and more accurate prescribing. LetsGetChecked’s pharmacogenomic solution, myPGx, leverages the power of precision medicine to improve patient health through more tailored treatment plans. Our solution is turning a one-size-fits-all approach to drug therapy and prevention into a more individualized approach to improve the patient experience and outcomes.