Personalised Medicine: how DNA testing can optimse medication results

Pharmacogenomic testing, also known as pharmacogenetic testing, examines how your genes affect your body’s response to medications. This testing combines pharmacology (the study of drugs) and genomics (the study of genes) to guide over-the-counter and personalised medicine prescriptions. By analysing your genetic makeup, healthcare providers can tailor treatments to ensure they are effective and safe for you.

Why is Pharmacogenomic Testing Important?

  • Personalised Medicine: Pharmacogenomic testing helps doctors customise treatments based on your unique genetic profile, increasing the effectiveness of medications and reducing the likelihood of side effects.
  • Improved Drug Efficacy: By understanding your genes, doctors can select medications that are more likely to work well for you, ensuring better treatment outcomes and quicker recovery.
  • Reduced Side Effects: Some individuals experience adverse reactions to certain medications. Testing can identify which drugs you may be sensitive to, helping to avoid these unwanted effects.
  • Optimal Dosage: Determining the right dosage can be challenging. Genetic testing helps find the correct dose for you, minimising trial and error.
  • Preventing Drug Interactions: Your genetic profile can reveal how you metabolise certain drugs, preventing harmful interactions between medications.
  • Cost-Effective Treatment: By reducing ineffective treatments and adverse drug reactions, pharmacogenomic testing can lower healthcare costs, avoiding unnecessary doctor visits and hospitalisations.

Who Can Benefit from Pharmacogenomic Testing?

Patients with Chronic Conditions: Those with chronic illnesses like depression, heart disease, or cancer can find more effective and safer treatment options.
Individuals with Unexplained Drug Reactions: If you’ve had adverse reactions or poor responses to medications in the past, testing can help identify the cause and suggest better alternatives.
Individuals on Multiple Medications: Those taking several drugs can benefit from testing to avoid drug interactions.

How to Access Pharmacogenomic Testing

You can discuss your interest in pharmacogenomic testing with your doctor, pharmacist, or our clinical nutritionist. They can provide information on whether it’s suitable for you and how to proceed.

Is Pharmacogenomic Testing Covered by Medicare?

Currently, pharmacogenomic testing is not subsidised under the Medicare Benefits Schedule. Patients can access private tests by referral from their GP, Psychiatrist, Paediatrician, our Clinical Nutritionist, or by purchasing an at-home test kit from a pharmacy stockist.

How Much Does Testing Cost?

Health practitioner referred: The laboratory will charge you approx $150-$300 for testing arranged by your healthcare provider. Results will be sent to your healthcare professional, so you’ll need to pay for an appointment to receive your results. Please note, if ordered through our Clinical Nutritionist, your results will be forwarded to your treating doctor.

At-home Test Kits: A MyDNA Practitioner edition “Medication” test kit (cheek swab) from your local pharmacy will cost around $100-$150. Results will be sent to your GP or pharmacist (who can forward a copy to your GP). You’ll need to make an appointment with your GP to discuss any recommended changes to your medications.

Click here to find your nearest local pharmacy selling MyDNA Practitioner edition, at-home “Medication” test kits.

What is the Testing Process?

  1. Sample Collection: A blood test, saliva (spit) test, or a small sample of your cheek cells is collected.
  2. Laboratory Analysis: The sample is analysed in a lab to identify genetic markers that influence your response to medications.
  3. Results Interpretation: Your healthcare provider reviews the results, considering your overall health and current medications.
  4. Personalised Treatment Plan: Based on the results, your doctor may adjust your medications or dosages to better match your genetic profile.

Understanding Your Results

Your test results will indicate any genetic variants that affect your response to medications. These results help your provider recommend the best treatment options, dosages, and predict potential side effects.

Additional Information

Pharmacogenomic testing is distinct from other genetic tests that diagnose diseases or assess disease risk. It focuses solely on how your genes impact medication efficacy and safety.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please speak with your healthcare provider.

Useful Information Sites and References – Please note, when considering the range of myDNA test kits and their applications, Thrive Wellness doesn’t recommend myDNA’s at-home consumer test kit for nutrition and wellness insights. For clients seeking nutrition and wellness gene insights, we recommend the more comprehensive and clinically valuable nutrigenomic and exercisegenomic testing, available through our clinic. On request, testing can be arranged prior to initial consultation, with results recommendations discussed during your first appointment with our Clinical Nutritionist/Accredited Exercise Physiologist.