Why test my DNA or genes before prescribing a drug?
Genetic differences can influence a patient’s ability to metabolize medications, and can alter how effective a medication is. Pharmacogenetics, (also called DNA Testing) is the study of how an individual’s DNA affects their response to medication. Genetic testing can provide clinicians with useful information to support their prescription drug decisions.
The test results can reveal if there is a potential for drug interactions or side effects based upon a patient's genes. This aids in the understanding of how and why some medicines may react differently with a patient. This gives the provider more information to help find the best medication or combination of medications for a patient.
What will the test tell me?
Specifically, it will tell how quickly your body filters a drug out of your bloodstream. A patient with high metabolism flushes drugs out of the body quickly, and might never realize any benefit from a taking a “normal” dose. A patient with poor metabolism is just the opposite, with a “normal” dose building to potentially dangerous levels. Understanding how quickly you will metabolize a drug helps your doctor calculate the safest, most effective dose for you.
What is required to perform this test?
You will need to provide a DNA sample using a cheek swab. A cheek swab is a sterile cotton swab made for DNA collection. You gather DNA simply and painlessly by rubbing the cheek swab on the insides of your cheeks. The swabs are then sealed and shipped to the lab for testing.
What happens to my DNA once the test is complete?
Your privacy is assured. Samples and genetic information are stored securely in accordance with HIPAA and other government regulations.
How do I get my test results?
Results will be sent to your doctor 5-10 business days after your sample is collected. The results of the test will be given to you by your provider at your next office visit.