Genetic Testing to Prevent Pharmaceutical Side Effects

One major concern I hear from patients is about potential side effects of pharmaceuticals. Most people don’t realize that there is actually a way to test for side effects before having to actually experience them. This can be accomplished through genetic testing. The human genome mapping was completed a few years ago, and this gives us the ability to take a look at your genes and predict how certain drugs will affect you. Some medications will react in specific ways with your particular genes, and others won’t. This technology is still in the experimental stage, but it is still a useful tool in predicting problems with medications.

For example, one of my patients was on some medications for GERD and had a horrible reaction of headaches. She came to me in a difficult spot of needing the medication for GERD but having side effects. As we worked toward addressing what was causing her GERD to begin with, we were able to test her genetics. We found a GERD medication that she was not reactive to since we identified the liver pathways that work well for her.

Another very common reaction we should to identify is antibiotics. Many people have reactions to antibiotics. In genetic testing, we can find the normally functioning pathways and make better choices to prevent reactions when antibiotic treatment is actually needed.

Genetic testing only needs to be done once. It doesn’t change. Therefore, it can be a good reference for any medication you may need in the future for arthritis, blood thinning, etc (the list is endless!). Education on your genes makes for better health outcomes!

To learn more about genetic testing, just contact our office.

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