What is Pharmacogenomic Testing and Why Does It Help Me?

Pharmacogenomic Testing analyzes how your genes guide the metabolism of prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications.

Pharmacogenomics is the study of an individual’s genetic variations that are associated with an individual’s ability to metabolize prescription or over-the-counter drugs. Pharmacogenomics was a natural outgrowth of human genome sequencing back in 2001. Medical research shows that individuals react differently to medications, due to their unique DNA. Pharmacogenomics, also referred to as “PGx," examines how a patient metabolizes specific drugs as encoded by their DNA. PGx testing reveals variations in drug metabolizing genes that either encode less efficiently (defined as “poor metabolizers”) or more efficiently in terms of metabolic enzyme activity (defined as “rapid metabolizers”).

Identifying how a patient metabolizes a medication allows for prescribers to design a personalized treatment plan with medications that work best and are safest for that patient. In addition to reducing adverse drug reactions, PGx testing also increases patient confidence and medication adherence, decreases medical costs, and outlines optimal dosage of medications for that patient

Genetics can also be used to help determine if you and your family members are at risk for certain medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer.