Pharmacogenomics (phar·ma·co·ge·no·mics) may be a multisyllabic, hard-to-pronounce word. However, the relatively new field already has helped many, many people.
How do my genes affect how medications may work for me?
Some medications may work better with your unique genetic profile and some medicines might not work at all for you. Your genes can affect how quickly your body breaks down (metabolizes) medicine and gets medicine into your bloodstream.
When a medication doesn’t work well with your genes, you may not get the relief you need and you may have unwanted side effects. By gathering information about your genetic profile, you and your healthcare provider can make better informed decisions regarding your treatment. Medicines that align well with your genes may work better and with fewer side effects.
Are genomics and genetics the same thing?
No, though it is a common mistake to use genetics and genomics interchangeably. Genetics is the study of a single gene and its role in how conditions are passed from one generation to the next. Genomics is the study of all parts of an organism’s genes.1
What is pharmacogenomics?
Pharmacogenomics uses information about a person’s genetic makeup, or genome, to choose the medication and dosage that are likely to work best for that person.2
The field of pharmacogenomics has revolutionized how medications are prescribed and taken. Until recently, drugs have been developed in a “one size fits all” kind of approach. Pharmacogenomic tests evaluate a person’s DNA to determine how they may metabolize or respond to medications. This type of testing helps guide healthcare providers in choosing medications and dosing. While it cannot confirm which medications or doses will work for a patient, it can point out which medications to avoid.
There are two types of genes studied in pharmacogenomics:
- Pharmacodynamic: these genes make proteins that affect how a medication works and what it does to the body
- Pharmacokinetic: these genes make proteins that affect the movement of the medication through the body (i.e., enzymes in the liver that break down the medications)
Is the GeneSight test a pharmacogenomic test?
Yes, the GeneSight test is the leading pharmacogenomic test to help clinicians make better informed decisions about medication selection to treat mental health conditions. Its technology is backed by extensive research and supported by multiple clinical studies published in peer-reviewed journals. The GeneSight test was developed in Assurex Health’s certified clinical laboratory, and based on patented technology licensed through our partnership with the Mayo Clinic and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, each renowned for innovation and research.
For more information on how the GeneSight test can help you and your physician, visit genesight.com, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
- Cardiology Today. Sept. 12. 2015 https://www.healio.com/cardiology/genetics-genomics/news/online/%7B6cdf2745-8257-40e4-ae0c-4f1fa7193d03%7D/genetics-vs-genomics
- National Human Genome Research Institute https://www.genome.gov/27530645/