Genetic Testing for ADHD Medication: The Information You Need to Know
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, commonly known as ADHD, affects millions of children in the U.S., as well as adults. Because of the complexity and variety of symptoms, a large majority of patients take medication to help manage the disorder. However, finding the right one isn’t always easy, and doctors don’t have a magic wand to know which medication is right for every patient.
Genetic testing for ADHD medication is one way to get more information about how a medicine interacts with a patient’s system based on genetic factors. ADHD genetic testing offers exciting potential for both doctors and patients.
Can Genetic Testing Help You Choose the Best ADHD Medication?
As with all complex medical questions, there isn’t a straightforward yes-or-no answer for every patient. In terms of whether genetic testing for ADHD is always the right tool for choosing a medication for ADHD, there could be a strong case made for it. The best way to approach the topic is to examine how this type of testing works and how it can help doctors and patients. It may be able to assist them in choosing the most effective medicine and avoiding side effects that can occur.
Types of ADHD Medications
There are many different types of ADHD medications available to treat symptoms and help patients control and manage behaviors that can cause problems. Genetic testing for ADHD medication looks at medications used to treat the disorder and how a patient may respond to them in order to determine which would be the best fit.
The most well-known type of pharmaceuticals for treating ADHD are fast-acting stimulants. They are believed to work by increasing dopamine levels in the brain, which can help with focus and concentration and reduce hyperactivity symptoms.
Non-stimulants don’t work as fast as stimulants to treat this disorder, but they do not have a potential for abuse, and they work for 24 hours. However, non-stimulants, such as atomoxetine, can take longer to become effective and may not be as effective as stimulants.
How Does Genetic Testing Work?
Genetic testing is a lot simpler than many people may think. A genetic test for medication looks at variations in enzymes that affect drug metabolism or how a patient’s body breaks down the active ingredients in a medication.
Patients take an ADHD swab test (covering ADHD medications), which collects saliva from the patient. It is completely non-invasive and used to analyze a patient’s DNA in order to see how the patient would respond to particular medications.
For example, research has shown that individuals with modifications in the ADRA2A gene can respond differently to a medication such as methylphenidate, which is commonly used to treat ADHD. The test can show if the patient has this type of gene modification and whether a particular drug would be ineffective or cause side effects.
Benefits of Genetic Testing for ADHD
There are several benefits to genetic testing for ADHD medications. Here are just a few of the most common:
- Patients and doctors can avoid a “trial and error” method of selecting a medication, which can be time-consuming and frustrating.
- Patients can avoid potential side effects that may be caused by a medication responding in a particular way to that patient’s DNA.
- Patients can streamline the process for selecting the right medication and therefore begin to see relief from their symptoms more quickly than if they had to try different medications over time to find the right one.
Genetic Testing for ADHD Medication FAQs
You likely still have questions regarding genetic testing for ADHD medication. Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions about DNA testing for ADHD medication.
Is genetic testing for ADHD medication covered by insurance?
As preventative testing such as this becomes more and more common, more insurance companies will cover it. Please contact us today to see if we accept your insurance, as not all major carriers cover this type of testing currently.
What should I look for in genetic testing for ADHD?
Some things to look for when choosing a DNA swab test for ADHD medication or other type of genetic testing for ADHD include:
- The number of genes tested
- How those genes interact with specific medications
- Reputation and certifications of testing provider
How can I get genetic testing?
It’s easy to get tested with a reputable company such as TruGenX, which offers genetic testing for ADHD medication. Contact us to get started today!
Effective Medication and Streamlined Treatment
Genetic testing and pharmacogenetics are revolutionizing the way doctors can help their patients find the right medication for certain disorders such as ADHD. Contact TruGenX if you would like to learn more about the benefits of this type of testing.