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The GeneSight test helps me help my patients

My patients call me Dr. Ada, and I specialize in child and adult psychiatry. In my clinic, Summit Mental Health based in Austin, we employ evidence-based medicine to provide individualized care for each patient. Our goal is to help each person attain their maximum potential, and to function to the best of their ability.

A lot of the patients I see have already been to their general practitioner or another doctor for their depression and anxiety symptoms. They often come to me after years of trying medications and different dosages, so by then, they are hopeless and discouraged.

Fortunately, there are some things we can do differently.

Seeking Out Genetic Testing

When I was in medical school, I learned about genetic testing. I was fascinated by the process and the different way to make decisions about prescribing medications. However, when I started to practice, pharmacogenomic testing wasn’t readily available.

Patient Story: photo of Dr. F. Ada N. Ifesinachukwu

A few years ago, I went to a conference and saw a booth with GeneSight representatives. I went right up and said: “Why aren’t you sending me a rep?” I registered to give patients the test and the rest is history.

I tell my colleagues that the GeneSight Psychotropic test is a good tool to use for your patients. You don’t have to go through “try this and try that and call me in the morning.” The trial-and-error process is where patients lose confidence. They also lose time and the opportunity to make good memories when they are feeling bad and you are experimenting with different medications. They miss birthday parties, they drop out of school, their relationships suffer. You can’t get that time back.

The Benefits of the GeneSight Psychotropic Test

The GeneSight Psychotropic test helps me help my patients. I have so many examples of its benefits.

One patient of mine had been on multiple medications with no improvement whatsoever. In fact, her husband and daughter said she “simply didn’t want to get better” and that she wouldn’t leave the house. She arrived at my office the first time in a wheelchair (dropped off by her husband who went to wait in the car), because she had so many side effects and other conditions, including arthritis, thyroid problems and sleeping all the time.

Because she had tried so many medications, I ordered the GeneSight test right away. Every single medication that she had taken showed significant or moderate gene/drug interactions. I called her and told her that she is likely metabolizing the medicine very slowly, which may be contributing to these debilitating side effects. I created a plan to ween her off her current medication and start a new medication that had no gene/drug interaction.

After going through the detox program and getting on new medication, she started to feel better. In fact, the next time she came to my office, she was out of the wheelchair and drove herself to my office. She told me that “for the first time in 30 years I felt like I should. I’m living my life now.” She and her husband are now traveling together.

My Goal is Depression Remission

My goal is depression remission. The GeneSight test gives my patients a level of trust with me, because people like science and evidence.

Quite simply, I use the GeneSight test because people are suffering. I do not want someone to leave my office feeling worse – I want people to leave feeling better. I always fight for my patients to get better.

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.