Pharmacogenetic test

Right drug, right dose, right patient

How do genes affect medication?

Your DNA affects how your body reacts to a drug. The pharmaceutical substances of drugs are broken down, i.e., metabolised, in the body by various enzymes. The production of these enzymes depends on your genes. Because of genetic traits, one person may produce more of a certain enzyme than another person. This is normal genetic variation between individuals, which affects how we respond to drugs as individuals. The higher the production of a certain enzyme is, the faster the medicine is metabolised and excreted from the body. A drug can only give the intended therapeutic effect if a sufficient level of the pharmaceutical substance is reached in the blood stream. If your body metabolises a medicine faster than expected, a sufficient level cannot be reached, and the drug does not work properly. On the other hand, if the metabolism is slower than expected, because your body produces a lower amount of the enzyme, the pharmaceutical substance accumulates in your body and may cause unpleasant side effects or even dangerous adverse drug reactions.

Does pharmacogenetics affect me?

Almost everyone has at least one genetic variant that affects medication. In a study of over 1000 at the Mayo Clinic patients 99 % had at least one genetic variant that affects their response to medication.

How many drugs are affected by pharmacogenetics?

Abomics’ experts maintain a database that includes over 150 pharmaceuticals that are known to be affected by genetic variation and for which a clinically significant recommendation exists. Many of these drugs are widely used. The safety and effectiveness many antidepressants and antipsychotics is affected by pharmacogenetics.

Side effects of medication and how to prevent them

Medication can cause harmful side effects, i.e. adverse reactions. Usually the side effects of medication are mild, but sometimes the medication needs to be changed due to side effects. It is good to know what unpleasant side effects your medication can cause, and if you should contact a doctor when experiencing them. This information is found in the package leaflet.

Side effects from medication can be avoided with pharmacogenetic testing. A broad clinical study showed that significant side effects were reduced by 30 % when the leading doctor’s medication decision is supported by pharmacogenetic test results. The study included approx. 7 000 patients, whose care required e.g. depression, pain, and cardiovascular medication.

Frequently asked questions

We have gathered answers for the most frequently asked questions, as well as helpful links on the FAQ page.