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What You Need To Know About Pharmacogenomics & Why

posted on 9/16/2016 Facebook Facebook

Our genetic makeup renders us unique in so many ways. From the way our affinities differ from each other with respect to which foods we like or dislike, to which diseases which we are most prone to, and even which medicines work or don’t for each of us. All of these processes and many alike are directly under the influence of our genes. 

In particular, have you ever wondered why a certain medication that has little or no effect in you seems to work effectively for your brother or friend? Or that you get severe side effects after taking a particular pill while others seem to be recovering in their health with the same medicine? The difference in the response is subject to several factors such as age, gender or other drugs that a person might be taking at the same time; up to 99% have same variations in their genes that impact how we metabolize and react to common medicines. 

These variations have long been a hindrance in the healthcare system wherein the doctors have had to largely rely on trial and error method to find the best medical treatment for their patients. While the process of elimination has worked well until now, modern medicine faces new challenges as scientists are able to uncover new genetic modules that influence our metabolism of drugs. This is where ‘pharmacogenomics’ come into the picture.

What Is Pharmacogenomics?

Pharmacogenomics is the study of your genes and how they affect your response to different medicines or drugs. Pharmacogenomics testing enables to identify the variations in genes which can thereby help to predict how a patient might respond to a new medication. This is an important step in the direction of personalizing medicine for every individual depending on his or her genetic makeup. These tests can also help predict which medicines will work best in any individual and is least likely to cause side effects. Adverse drug reactions are widely spread in the population, with 44,693 deaths and 253,017 "serious" events recorded in just 2015. 

Pharmacogenomics testing has started to show an impressive impact in upgrading the treatment of several different cancers. We now know that cancer is a genetic disease and is driven by specific mutations which not only drive its progression and spread but also how the patient responds to treatment. If we can find out these mutations and how they influence the disease we can target the therapy in an individualized manner. In addition to this, pharmacogenomics testing can aid the treatment of pain and psychiatric illnesses wherein medications have extreme side effects. 

With more and more research pooling in from several studies, pharmacogenomics testing is growing steadily. This research will:
•Help your healthcare providers prescribe the right drug for you

•Help your healthcare providers prescribe the right amount of a drug for you

•Improve safety of clinical trials to test drugs

•Develop drugs to fit your genetic makeup

However, pharmacogenomics is a relatively new field, and not every doctor has access to a pharmacogenomics test or knows how to interpret the genomic information. Accounting for the various benefits that it presents, it is important to educate the doctors and people about pharmacogenomics testing.

To understand how your genetics can influence your health outcome and risk for diseases get in touch with us. You can speak to our genetic counselorsat: info@positivebioscience.com or 1800-3070-6727 (Toll-free)

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