Genetic Testing for Medication Effectiveness
Genetic testing for medical efficacy or ‘Pharmacogenomics’ is the study of how genetics impact your body’s response to certain medications.
This new and exciting field of scientific ingenuity helps scientists determine how genetic testing can be used to select the best medicines for individual patients. Genetic testing for medication sensitivity helps doctors determine whether a medication will be effective on a patient and provide guidelines for dosage.
Genetic testing for drug metabolism can help to alert physicians to what medications could cause potential harm to patients.
In this post, we’ll explain the process of genetic medication testing, the limitations of genetic swab tests for medication, and the costs associated with these procedures.
What is Genetic Testing for Medication?
A DNA swab test for medication is used to study how your genes impact your body’s response to specific drugs.
The term ‘pharmacogenomics’ combines the words “genomics” (the study of genes and their functions) and “pharmacology” (the study of effects and uses of mediations).
Inside your body are thousands of genes inherited from your parents. These genes determine your DNA’s makeup, which is your body’s blueprint, providing instructions on growth and maintenance.
These genes are expressed to affect specific characteristics you have, such as blood type and eye color. Some genes also affect how your body processes medications.
A genetic swab test for medication will search for variants or changes in these genes to determine whether a medication will be an effective treatment for you. In addition, it can ascertain what side effects you may encounter after taking a given medication.
Pharmacogenomic testing is an efficient tool to assist your physician in determining the best medication for you.
However, other factors such as your lifestyle, age, and any other medications you’re taking are considered when choosing a treatment that will provide the most significant benefits.
The Drug-Gene Testing Process
The purpose of genetic swab testing for medication is to determine whether a drug is suitable for an individual. A small saliva or blood sample could help to determine:
- What the perfect dose of medication is for you
- Whether a medication will prove effective in treating you
- Whether a medication could cause severe side effects
After a genetic swab test for medication has been collected, it’s sent to a laboratory for processing. The laboratory searches for variants or changes in one or more genes that can affect your body’s response to certain medications.
Individuals only need to take a specific pharmacogenomic test because their genetic makeup doesn’t change with time. However, various pharmacogenomics tests are required for different medications.
Each specific medication is associated with a different genetic swab test. Once your test results are ready, you can share them with the relevant healthcare professionals to decide the best treatment course.
The need for a genetic swab test for medication is determined on an individual basis. However, if your test results reveal that you will have an adverse response to a particular medicine, your family members could have a similar reaction.
We recommend that you share your results with your family members. Additionally, your healthcare provider may offer recommendations for family members that could benefit from drug-gene testing.
Genetic Swab Testing Limitations
The current limitations of genetic swab tests for medication include:
- Pharmacogenomic tests are not available for all medications. As they are only currently available for specific medications, your physician will determine whether or not you require a genetic swab test before starting treatment.
- A single genetic swab test cannot be used to figure out how you will respond to all medications. You’ll require more than one test if you are taking more than one medication.
- There are no pharmacogenomic tests that currently test for aspirin, paracetamol, and other over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers.
Genetic Swab Test for Medication Costs
Genetic swab tests for medication costs vary depending on what test is ordered and what type of health insurance coverage you have.
- Some insurance companies may cover genetic swab testing, depending on the policy and reason for testing.
- Contact your insurance provider about coverage before testing if scope and cost are concerns.
- It can help acquire the ICD-9/ICD-10 procedure and CPT billing codes for the genetic swab tests from your health care provider before calling the insurance company.
There is a federal law in place called the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), making it illegal for health insurance companies to discriminate based on your genetic information.
However, GINA won’t protect you from genetic discrimination from long-term care, life, and disability insurance companies. That said, different states have different laws in this area.
Discover the TruGenX Testing Difference
Our pharmacogenetic testing helps people identify the right drugs to alleviate a range of conditions.
If you’re currently taking prescription medication that is causing undesirable side-effects or isn’t working, pharmacogenetic testing can help you discover why this is occurring. Contact us today to learn more.