Pharmacogenomics is the analysis of how genes affect a person’s response to drugs. Most drugs are broken down (metabolised) in the body by drug-metabolising enzymes (DMEs). Specific genes code for these enzymes, and variations in these genes can cause significant differences to drug-metabolising enzymes, drug transporters and drug targets.
As everyone has a unique genetic makeup, this can affect how you will respond or react to certain medications. A medication or dose that works for one person may be ineffective or cause harmful side effects in another. Through pharmacogenomics testing, individualised medicine treatment plans can be developed based on each patient’s genetic makeup, to determine optimal drugs and dosages, and limit harmful side effects.
Using the results from PGx testing, health care providers can individualize drug therapy selection and dosages for patients based on their genetic makeup. Testing patients prior to beginning treatment may help determine their response to certain drug classes and help avoid drugs that may be ineffective or cause harmful side effects. For patients currently on treatment, it may identify new treatment options or identify why current treatments aren’t working.
Advantages of PGx testing may include
PGx testing is available to everyone but may be most useful for patients who are currently on or about to begin taking medications for any of the conditions covered. It may also be useful for people who have tried numerous drugs to find one that may effectively treat their symptoms.
PGx is particularly relevant in psychiatry where antidepressants are essential components in treatment. 30-50% of patients do not respond to their first antidepressant, and lengthy trials are often required before the optimal treatment type and dose is identified. Patients who have had genetically guided prescribing based may have a greater chance of remission compared to patients without genetic prescribing.
Our PGx panel also covers over 60 common oncology drugs. For cancer patients who are about to commence treatment, this may help identify which drugs are likely to be effective. For cancer patients who are currently on treatment, PGx testing may identify new treatment options, or identify if or why current medications aren’t effective.
Our Pharmacogenomics Panel uses next generation sequencing to analyse genes related to 40 known drug-metabolizing enzymes (DMEs). Testing of these genes can provide metabolic information on a wide range of drug classes, including:
|Conditions||Drug Classes||Common Drugs|
|Pain Management||Anti-inflammatory, Analgesic, Antipyretic, Opioids, Gout, Antirheumatic||Ibuprofen, Codeine, Morphine|
|Cardiovascular Medications||Antiarrhythmic, Antihypertensive, Cardiac Stimulant, Vasodilator, Angina medications, Dyslipidemia, Anticoagulant, Antiplatelet||Warfarin, Aspirin, Amiodarone (Cordarone®), Captopril (Capoten®), Atorvastatin (Lipitor®)|
|Internal Medicine||Respiratory Function, Antiemetic, Peptic Ulcer disease, Obesity, Diabetes, Migraine, Antihistamine, Hyperparathyroidism, Dermatology||Esomeprazole (Nexium®)|
|Psychiatry||Antidepressants, Antipsychotics||Fluoxetine (Prozac®), Sertraline (Zoloft®)|
|Neurology||ADHD related drugs, Epilepsy, Sedatives, Anticonvulsants, Muscle relaxants, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s related drugs||Diazepam (Valium®), Pregabalin (Lyrica®), Methylphenidate (Ritalin®)|
|Infectiology||Antibiotics, Antifungal, Antiviral, Antiretroviral||Erythromycin, Proguanil (Malarone®)|
|Oncology, Hematology||Antineoplastic, Antineoplastic Targeted Therapy||Tamoxifen (Nolvadex®), Paclitaxel (Taxol®), Fluorouracil (Adrucil®)|
|Organ Transplantation||Immunosuppressive, Immunomodulation||Cyclosporine, Pomalidomide (Pomalyst®)|
|Anaesthesiology||Anaesthetic, Muscle Relaxant||Midazolam|
|Urology||Incontinence, Erectile Dysfunction, Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy||Sildenafil (Viagra®)|
|Endocrinology||Contraceptives, Androgens, Antiandrogens, Glucocorticoid, Thyroid||Testosterone, Oestrogens, Progestogens|
The PGx report provides information on how your body will metabolise drugs, which may be helpful in choosing medications. It is however, only one component of how a person may react to any particular drug. Drug reactions may be caused by other mechanisms apart from the known effect of the drug itself. These include hypersensitivity reactions (allergies), intolerance and drug interactions.The PGx report can be used as an aid in choosing medications but must be used in conjunction with previous medical history and other medical information available to your health care practitioner.
If you are ready to proceed with testing, a Testing Request Form can be downloaded from our website. We recommend you book an appointment with your doctor to discuss the testing and have your Request Form signed. You can then head to our website to submit your order and payment. Paternity For Life will then send a testing kit directly to your home address. All that is required for testing is a simple, painless mouth swab. Once we receive your sample we will begin testing. Results are typically available to your doctor within 21 working days.