The number of people who take antidepressants has increased significantly over the years. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in nine people took an antidepressant between 2011-2014 — nearly six times as many people compared to 1988-1992.1
Despite the growing number of people who take medication for anxiety and depression, finding the right antidepressant for a patient is often a process of trial and error. Given that 50% of patients with depression do not respond to their first treatment,2 doctors often use trial and error to find the right medication. Using trial and error, a doctor chooses a medication they believe will work best, selects a dose, prescribes it, and tells the patient to schedule a follow-up appointment for about six weeks later.
At the follow-up appointment, if the patient is still experiencing the same symptoms or is having unwanted side effects from the new medication, the doctor adjusts the dose or chooses a new antidepressant, and again asks the patient to schedule a 6-week follow up. While the first or second medication/dose works for some patients, for others it can feel like an endless process to find the right medication.
Medication response testing to identify the right antidepressant faster
This familiar trial and error process is leading people to ask their doctors about medication response testing. A medication response test is a type of genetic test that analyzes your DNA to predict how you will respond to medications. Given that genetic factors account for 95% of how you respond to medications,3 a medication response test can help predict which medication will — or won’t — work for you based on your DNA.
With your medication response results in hand, your doctors have a roadmap that can help them identify which antidepressants you should avoid and which may be the best one to try first. While the results can’t tell you exactly which medication is best, they serve as a guide that may reduce the amount of time it takes to find the right antidepressant for you.
More personalized prescriptions with the RightMed test
OneOme’s RightMed test is a medication response test that analyzes 27 of your genes and provides results for over 360 medications, including the most commonly prescribed antidepressants and anxiety medications. (See which medications are covered.) Since your DNA doesn’t change, your RightMed test results can be used for future treatment decisions for years to come.
Questions about the RightMed test? Contact our customer support team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 844-663-6635. We’re happy to answer any questions you have and help you get started on your path to more effective medications.