Figuring Out What Is The Right Medication For You

Most times, your doctor can diagnose a drug allergy, depending on your symptoms. At times, however, drug allergies are more difficult to pin down. In these situations, he can suggest drug allergy testing.

The Different Types Of Drug Allergy Tests

1. Skin Test

A doctor inserts a small amount of the medicine onto your skin and waits to observe if you have a reaction. Skin tests only go for some kinds of medications, such as penicillin and other antibiotics, a few cancer drugs, and muscle relaxants.

2. Patch Test

A doctor puts a small quantity of medication on your skin. After two to four days, the physician will check for a reaction. This test can test for delayed allergic reactions to anticonvulsants, antibiotics, and other drugs.

3. Blood Test

Laboratory Tests can help diagnose some sensitivities to antibiotics and other medications.

4. Genetic Testing For Medications

Have you ever thought about why some medicines may not appear to help you as much as others?

Have you ever adjusted the dosage or quit a medication because you didn’t believe it worked for you or did not like how it made you feel?

Have you ever wanted to understand how a medication may affect you before you take it?

These types of questions may be addressed by Pharmacogenomics (PGx), which is, the study of how genes influence the body’s response to drugs. Emerging tools for PGx testing, also called drug-gene testing, can direct your medical care provider to tailor your medications according to your genes. This is vital to personalizing your healthcare. Blood test help you to find any drug allergy you may have.

Drug-gene testing is also called pharmacogenetics, or pharmacogenomics. All terms characterize the analysis of your genes affects the human body’s response to medications. The term “pharmacogenomics” is combined from the words pharmacology (the study of the uses and effects of drugs ) and genomics (the review of genes and their purposes).

Your body has thousands of genes that you obtained from your parents. Genes determine which features you have, such as blood type and eye color. Some genes are accountable for how your body processes drugs.

This sort of testing is gaining popularity because it takes much of the trial & error out of the equation.  For example, there are many anti-depressants (SSRIs) which one is most suited for you?  This can save you months trying to find the best medication.

What is Pharmacogenomics (PGx)?

PGx is the analysis of how your genes may influence your body’s response to, and interaction with, some prescription or over-the-counter medications.

Genes, which are inherited from the parents, carry information that determines characteristics such as blood type and eye color. Genes may also influence how you process and respond to drugs.

Based on your genetic structure, some medicines may work slower or faster or produce more or fewer side effects.

Tests look for variations or modifications in these genes that may determine if you might have side effects on a specific medication or if a medication could be an effective treatment for you.

Pharmacogenetic testing is one tool that can help your health care provider determine the best medication for you. Your medical care provider also considers factors such as other drugs you are currently taking, lifestyle, age, and your health when determining the right treatment for you.

Pharmacogenomics Program

The Pharmacogenomics Program examines how changes in genes affect react to medications, by using a patient’s genetic profile to estimate a guide dosage, drug efficacy, and improve patient safety.

Purpose of Pharmacogenomics Testing

The purpose of testing is to discover if a medication is perfect for you. A little blood or saliva sample can help find out:

  • If medication may be an effective treatment for you
  • what the best dose of a drug is for you
  • Whether you might have severe side effects from a medication

The lab looks for variations or changes in one or more genes that could influence your reaction.

Each person would require to have the same particular pharmacogenomic test only once because your genetic structure does not change over time. If you choose another medication, you might need pharmacogenomics tests. Each medication is related to different pharmacogenomics tests. Keep track of your test results and share them with your health care providers.

The need for pharmacogenomics testing is decided on an individual basis. If your test results suggest you might not have a good response to a medication, your family members may have a similar response. We recommend you discuss this report with your family members. Your healthcare provider can also provide recommendations for family members who may benefit from having testing.

Genomic Sequencing

It is a procedure for assessing a sample of DNA obtained from your blood. In the laboratory, technicians collect DNA and make it ready for sequencing.

Current Boundaries of Pharmacogenomics Tests

  • One only pharmacogenomic test can’t be used to ascertain how you will respond to all drugs. If you’re taking more than one medicine, you will need more than one pharmacogenomic test.
  • Pharmacogenomic tests aren’t available for all drugs. As pharmacogenomic tests are possible only for specific medications, your health care provider concludes if you require to have a pharmacogenomic test before starting a particular treatment.
  • There are no pharmacogenomic tests for aspirin and lots of other pain killers.

Pharmacogenomics Testing Costs And Policy

The price of pharmacogenomics testing varies based on your medical insurance coverage and which test is ordered.  Many insurance companies are just now starting to address this type of gene testing and may not cover it yet.

It is advisable to call ahead before just submitting your DNA and information.  Many of these labs may be “out of your network”, so you do not want a surprisingly large bill of thousands of dollars.  Some labs may have a self-pay discounted cash price or ask you to allow them to use your DNA for research purposes.  Read the fine print because the nurse in your doctor’s office may not tell or know everything!

To assist you in determining test coverage and costs:

  • Some testing clinics have the ability to give an estimate by telephone.
  • Some insurance corporations may include pharmacogenomic testing, based on the coverage and reasons for testing.
  • Contact your insurer about the policy before testing if coverage and cost are concerns.
  • It could be handy to find the ICD-9/ICD-10 process and CPT billing codes for the particular lab tests from your medical care provider before calling the insurance provider.

The federal law known as the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), makes it illegal for health insurance corporations to discriminate against you based on your genetic information. This law does not shield you against genetic differentiation by disability insurance, life insurance, or long-term maintenance insurance companies.

Whatever your case may be a drug allergy (allergic reaction to a drug) and you are trying to find a new medication or you have tried several medications and they just do not seem to work for your body then try the genetic testing route, either way, you have now options to figure it out.

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