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Understanding the Gene-Drug Interaction Chart

Understanding the Gene-Drug Interaction Chart

You’ve taken the GeneSight® test and have the results in hand. Your healthcare provider has likely reviewed the patient results pages with you and made recommendations on which medications may work best for you.

As you review the report, you also may see a chart called the gene-drug interaction chart. This chart provides additional information about which pharmacokinetic genes are involved in the metabolism of each medication included in the report. The GeneSight test also looks at pharmacodynamic genes, which provide information about how the medication affects you, but these are not included in the gene-drug interaction chart.

Can you explain the format of the Gene-Drug Interaction Chart?

Visual of Sample GeneSight Psychotropic Gene-Drug Interaction Chart

The format of the gene-drug interaction chart is similar to the earlier pages of the GeneSight report where medications are categorized into the green, yellow, and red categories (see sidebar).

Listed across the top of the chart are several pharmacokinetic genes, and medications are listed in a column on the left side.

There are dots (either shaded or unshaded) on the chart. These dots mean that the enzyme is involved in the metabolism of the associated medication.

  • A shaded dot – a variation was found in your gene that may impact your response to that medication.
  • An unshaded dot – the gene is associated with medication response, but your genotype is normal and shouldn’t impact your response to that medication.
  • No dot – the gene does not impact response to that medication.

Why do I see shaded dots for medications in the green category?

If your report has shaded dots in the green “Use as Directed” category, you could have a variation in one or more genes, but this variation is unlikely to impact your response to that medication. This could mean that while an enzyme is involved in the metabolism of the medication, its role is not clinically significant enough to warrant a change in dosing.

Additionally, you may notice that most medications are broken down by more than one enzyme. Another reason you may see shaded dots for medications that remain in the green category is that some of these other enzymes may compensate for that variation.

My report doesn’t contain dots for medications in the red category…what does this mean?

It’s an uncommon situation, but it does happen. It means the medication does not have any known pharmacokinetic markers but does have pharmacodynamic markers. Since the gene-drug interaction chart only includes pharmacokinetic genes, the medication will not have any dots. So, the reason the medication falls in the red category is because of a pharmacodynamic gene. The only medication on GeneSight Psychotropic that creates this situation is Trileptal®.


For more information on how the GeneSight test can help you and your physician, visit genesight.com, email us at medinfo@assurexhealth.com, or phone 855.891.9415.

This document is for educational purposes related to pharmacogenomics and personalized medicine only and should not be considered medical advice. The information is based on scientific opinion from industry experts and is intended to provide additional information to healthcare providers. These materials may be changed, improved, or updated without notice. Assurex Health is not responsible for any errors or omissions contained in third party content. We encourage you to contact us for specific scientific advice regarding our GeneSight® tests. You may print a copy of this document for your own personal noncommercial use. You may not copy any part of this document for any other purpose, and you may not modify any part of this document without the permission of Assurex Health. “GeneSight,” “Assurex” and associated logos are registered trademarks of Assurex Health, Inc. © 2018 Assurex Health, Inc. All rights reserved.