We all inherit genes from our parents. Genes can be passed down from either your mother or your father, coming together to form the strands of your own unique DNA. Your genetics affect everything from your eye color to your predisposition to certain medical conditions.
Your genetics also control how well you’ll respond to many medications. Instead of trying out different medications and waiting to see if you’ll experience positive results or adverse side effects, what if you could apply knowledge about your unique genetics to find the right medications for you?
At Greater Lowell Psychiatric Associates, LLC, we offer exactly that service, through pharmacogenetic testing. With pharmacogenetics, we can evaluate how safe and effective your medications are for your unique health care needs.
Whether you’re getting ready to start a new medication, or notice side effects or ineffectiveness related to your current medications, you may be able to benefit from pharmacogenetic testing.
Some medications can vary in effectiveness for individuals based on genetic factors. Genetics can also often predict if you’re likely to have a bad reaction or see adverse side effects after you start taking certain medications.
Only some medications respond to genetic factors. We might suggest pharmacogenetic testing if you could benefit from medications including:
Your genetics may additionally give us important information about the right medication dosage for you. Pharmacogenetic testing only tracks your potential responses to medication and is distinct from full genetic testing.
In pharmacogenetic testing, we examine specific areas of your DNA to check for certain genes. We use samples of your blood or saliva to gather information about your genetics. We typically need less than five minutes to take your sample. There are minimal risks from blood testing, and none from saliva testing.
You don’t need to do much to prepare for pharmacogenetic testing. If you’re giving a saliva sample, don’t have anything to eat or drink, or smoke, for half an hour before your testing appointment.
Once your lab results come back, we can use them to adjust your medication plan. If you were taking your medication at the time of your testing, we can use your results to better calibrate your ideal dosage.
Finding the right medication and dosage to control your mental health symptoms, and avoiding side effects that can reduce your quality of life, can be a challenge. With pharmacogenetic testing, you can eliminate a lot of the guesswork, saving yourself time and stress dealing with ineffective treatments.
To learn more about how pharmacogenetic testing could help you get the maximum benefits from your antidepressants or other medications, get in touch with the experts at Greater Lowell Psychiatric Associates now.
Our care team, under the leadership of Ronald P. Winfield, MD, offers holistic and integrative mental health services to new and existing patients from around the North Chelmsford, Massachusetts, area.
You can schedule your initial consultation appointment at Greater Lowell Psychiatric Associates, LLC by calling today, or use the online tool to book.