Parents often stop children’s ADHD meds at summer break.
Now, a genetic test could help ensure they get back on the right ones.
MASON, Ohio – August 23, 2016 – During summer months, many parents give their kids a break from the challenges of managing an ADHD medication regimen. In fact, a review of 22 studies by the ADHD Institute found mention of a “drug holiday,” or break from the medications, in over half the studies. The results suggested that between 25 and 70 percent of families whose children have been prescribed ADHD medications, particularly stimulant medications, have chosen at various times to take a “drug holiday.” As students head back to school, parents are preparing to restart those medication regimens.
Getting ready to return to school is a great time to evaluate whether the right medication is being used to treat ADHD symptoms like restlessness, lack of focus, or inability to read social cues, according to Dr. David Chu, an adolescent psychiatrist in Costa Mesa, California. Assurex Health has retained him to deliver information to other healthcare professionals concerning pharmacogenomics, genetics and personalized medicine.
“Patients often take a break from ADHD medications while they are taking a break from structure and routine. Because of how these drugs work, it’s important to restart a child’s medication regimen two to four weeks before school begins,” said Dr. Chu. “That’s when I often work with parents to make sure we are using the right meds before re-starting a medication. Genetic testing may be part of the evaluation.”
Genetic Test Can Help Determine Appropriate Medication
Genetic testing can be used to help guide behavioral health medication decisions. Tests like GeneSight® ADHD analyze how a patient’s unique genetic makeup affects his or her response to medication.
The GeneSight ADHD precision medicine test collects patient DNA through a simple cheek swab. The sample is then analyzed using the GeneSight CPGx® proprietary algorithm, which weights the importance of multiple genes to produce more accurate results than single-gene testing.
Results are available to healthcare providers within 36 hours in an actionable, easy to interpret report that helps healthcare providers understand how a patient’s unique genomic makeup may affect his or her response to each medication.
Population is Significant
According to the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP), 6.1 percent of American children are being treated for ADHD with medication. For years, healthcare providers and support groups often advised parents that the only way to know which ADHD drug would work best was through trial and error.
However, precision medicine—using a person’s own DNA to help guide healthcare decisions regarding medication choice and dose to help improve patient response—is changing that.
“When a student can focus, they are confident and happy,” said Dr. Chu. “Getting them to that point before school starts is the best way to get them off on the right foot. The GeneSight test has become an invaluable tool in my practice and for my patients.”
GeneSight® testing helps healthcare providers make better treatment decisions based on a person’s genetic makeup. GeneSight testing is based on advanced CPGx® technology, a patented approach that analyzes variations and combinations of a person’s genes along with FDA-approved medications for behavioral health conditions and chronic pain. Peer-reviewed, published studies have proven its clinical benefits and substantial healthcare cost savings. More than 15,000 healthcare professionals have used GeneSight with over 350,000 patients. Learn more about all of our GeneSight tests, in particular GeneSight ADHD, at GeneSight.com.
About Assurex Health
Assurex Health provides new hope to people seeking mental wellness. We are the leader in genetic testing to guide behavioral health medication decisions. Our patented technology was developed at Mayo Clinic and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, who remain research collaborators. Learn more at AssurexHealth.com.