Science and Medicine Working Together for Better Patient Health
What is Pharmacogenomic Testing?
Pharmacogenomics uses information about a person's genetic makeup, or genome, to choose the drugs and drug doses that are likely to work best for that particular person. This new field combines the science of how drugs work, called pharmacology, with the science of the human genome, called genomics.
Why do you use pharmacogenomic testing?
Currently, doctors base the majority of their medication prescriptions on clinical factors, such as a patient's age, weight, gender and liver and kidney function. For many medications, researchers have identified genetic variations that influence how people respond. In these cases, doctors can use the pharmacogenomic information to select the best medication and identify people who need an unusually high or low dose.
How does pharmacogenomics help me?
People vary in their responses to prescribed medications, both with respect to how well the drug works and in their adverse reactions to it. Scientists, doctors and the pharmaceutical industry are working to customize medical treatments to suit our genetic signatures. By using information about your genetic makeup, doctors may be able to avoid the trial-and-error approach of giving you various drugs that are not likely to work for you until they find the right one. Using pharmacogenomics, the "best-fit" drug to help you can be chosen from the beginning.
How can I find out more about pharmacogenomic testing?
There are numerous articles and private and government sponsored websites regarding pharmacogenomics and its use in the scientific and medical communities. Here are a few to help get you started: