I’m a big fan of the GeneSight test
I spent 16 years as a general nurse practitioner in the home healthcare industry. One important thing that became increasingly obvious as I spent more time in people’s homes: there is a huge, unmet need for psychiatric care. That’s why I decided to go back to school and get my certification to become a psychiatric nurse practitioner. It was there that I first learned of pharmacogenomics and using genetic testing to help inform medication selection.
As the director of Behavioral Health and Pharmacovigilance for Resurgia Health Solutions LLC,
I use the Beers Criteria every day. The Beers Criteria describes Potentially Inappropriate Medications (PIMS) for seniors. In practice, this means I look at a new patient’s list of medications and make suggestions about how we can stop known adverse-event-inducing drugs by suggesting alternatives.
The GeneSight test is another tool I can use in this process.
A Matter of Trust
My patients are hurting. Many are taking medications that haven’t helped them. When they have repeatedly tried different medications and dosages and still aren’t feeling like themselves, they are very disappointed – I am, too. I’m aware enough to know it’s not my failure but it still makes me frustrated because I know I have to start the process all over again.
Now that I have the GeneSight test as part of my evaluation, I have more insight into what medication to try next. I order the test about 3 to 6 times a week, depending on my patient load. I typically order it for patients whose medications have failed repeatedly or for someone who is failing their current therapy.
Nearly all of my patients who I offer the GeneSight test are excited about its possibilities. When I tell them that we have a test that will allow us to use their genetic profile to help identify potential issues with medication, their reaction is typically: “Oh my, that’s amazing.”
To me, the GeneSight test is also another way to build trust with the patient. The patient feels that you have their best interests at heart. I’ve had patients talk to me about their trials and tribulation with guesswork around medication – and they see this as a more knowing and more informed approach. Not that it is a 100% perfect, but it is a more informed approach.
When I’ve been able to help my patients using the GeneSight test, I feel empowered.
A “Big Fan” of the GeneSight test
I had one patient who was elderly who had been on the same antidepressant for years and still suffered from depressive symptoms. She felt like that’s how she was supposed to feel. After using the GeneSight test to help inform her treatment, I determined that we needed to change her medication. She now is in remission from her depression. She tells me that she wished she had taken the GeneSight test years ago and that she feels so much better.
I’m so happy to have helped her to realize she could live a life without depression. This kind of story is why I do what I do.
I’m a big fan of the GeneSight test. I would tell my colleagues who may be considering the GeneSight test that I have seen such good results from using it. It’s been so helpful.
This story is one clinician’s personal experience. Other experiences may vary.
As with all genetic tests, the GeneSight test results have limitations and do not constitute medical advice. The test results are designed to be just one part of a larger, complete patient assessment, which would include proper diagnosis and consideration of medical history, other medications being taken, family history, and other factors.
If you are a healthcare provider and interested in learning more about the GeneSight test, please call us at 855.891.9415. If you are a patient, please talk with your doctor to see if the GeneSight test may be helpful.