How Does Genetic Testing for Psychiatric Medication Work?

Genetic Testing for Psychiatric Medications

In 2019, there were more than 13.1 million adults with Serious Mental Illnesses (SMIs). The prevalence of mental illness can make treatment difficult as each person can respond differently to medication. As a result, treating psychiatric disorders and severe mental illness is often a game of trial and error for healthcare providers.

The primary issue healthcare providers have is that 50% of patients with SMIs do not respond positively to standard drug therapy.

Due to this fact, prescribing drugs to help patients cope with SMIs requires an arduous empirical trial and error cycle.

However, new insights into genetic testing for psychiatric medications could provide hope to millions of Americans.

Can Pharmacogenetics Help You Choose the Best Psychiatric Medication?

 Genetic testing for mental health medications is a relatively new field. The field of pharmacogenetics studies how the genome responds to drugs. Proponents say that understanding the genome’s role in pharmaceutical treatments could enable doctors to increase success rates when prescribing antidepressants and antipsychotics.

Although use is quite limited today, clinical studies pave the way to potentially choosing more appropriate prescriptions for patients and decreasing the number of adverse reactions.

Psychiatric genetic testing has already demonstrated intriguing results, and the field continues to advance in a positive direction.

Types of Psychiatric Medications Available for Genetic Testing

Due to how new this field is, genetic testing for psych meds is still not available for every type of medication.

Genetic testing for psychiatric medication is currently available for medicines designed to treat bipolar disorder, depression, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), schizophrenia, and more.

 Some of the most common genetic testing for psychiatric medications include:

  •  Xanax
  • Celexa
  • Abilify
  • Lexapro
  • Zoloft

How Does Genetic Testing Work?

Genetic testing for psychotropic medications is painless and straightforward. A small saliva swab is done at home and sent to our lab for processing. From there, we provide results to you and your doctor as well as schedule a time with our Molecular Specialist to review the results with you. 

Then, the patient’s sample is sent to a laboratory specializing in DNA testing for psychotropic medications. Experts at the lab perform analysis on the sample by sequencing the DNA and analyzing the specific alleles within the DNA.

we provide results to you and your doctor as well as schedule a time with our Molecular Specialist to review the results with you. We try to make the results as easy to read with the “Stop Light” (Green/Yellow/Red) of the Medications. Green is good to go and Red are medications you want to stay away from.

 The overall effectiveness of genetic testing has improved over the years. Yet despite these advances, no DNA test for psych meds has a 100% effectiveness rate.

Benefits of Genetic Testing for Psychiatric Medications

 Psychotropic genetic testing is one of the most exciting scientific fields because of the incredible benefits it could have on adults with SMIs around the world. With up to 40% of patients finding their antidepressant medications ineffective, genetic testing for mental health medications could be a gamechanger.

Some of the benefits of psychiatric genetic testing include:

  • Eliminating much of the guesswork involved in prescribing antipsychotics and antidepressants. This could save healthcare systems millions.
  • Improving patient symptoms faster. If genetic testing shows a specific medication could be more effective, this will enable patients to see improvements more quickly.
  • Help in determining which patients would benefit from a dose adjustment.
  • Reducing the number of patients who experience serious side effects from their medications.

Overall, the benefits are clear, and the increasing use of genetic testing for psychiatric medications is helping more and more patients every year.

Genetic Testing for Psychiatric Medications: FAQs

 Since pharmacogenomics is such a new field, many patients are unaware of the potential for genetic testing. These are some of the most common inquiries patients have about the practice.

How Much Does Genetic Testing Cost?

 The National Institutes of Health claims that genetic testing for psychiatric meds costs anywhere from $100 to $2,000 per test.

It depends on the provider, the state, and the type of medication testing is ordered for.

Does Insurance Cover Genetic Testing?

 Some health insurance plans do cover genetic testing. However, it depends on the plan and the patient’s history. Some insurers also demand additional documentation proving that the test is necessary. A doctor must provide this documentation.

Certain genetic testing companies do offer payment assistance to patients whose insurance does not cover genetic testing.

How Can I Get Genetic Testing?

Contact TruGenX today to get started with the PGX test and find what medications work best specific to your genetics. We accept most insurances and zero out of pocket cost to you. Please Contact Us Today to get started

Is Genetic Testing for Medications FDA Approved?

 The FDA has approved genetic testing on certain types of medication. The full table can be found on the FDA website.


Pharmacogenomics is one of the fastest advancing fields in the scientific community. Its potential benefits include prescribing medications with better outcomes, reducing negative side effects, and limiting healthcare costs. Speak to your doctor about whether it could be beneficial for you.

Contact TruGenX to find out how you can book pharmacogenetic testing for medications and learn more about the process.

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