Pharmacogenomics (PGx) is the study of how genes affect a person’s response to medications. PGx combines the study of how medications affect our bodies (pharmacology) with the study of our genes and their functions (genomics) to help providers make more informed prescription decisions for patients.
Many factors can affect how a certain medication works for you, including your gender, weight, age, diet, other medications, medical conditions, and exposure to environmental agents such as cigarette smoke. Your genetic makeup also can have an influence.
Genes are sections of DNA, and variations in your DNA are what make you unique. The different versions of a gene you inherit from your mother and father can determine everything from your eye color to how quickly you process, or metabolize, medications.
Medication metabolism is an example of how your genes can affect which medications may be right for you. Some variations in your genes may cause your body to break down (metabolize) certain medications too slowly or too quickly. If you metabolize a medication too slowly, you may be exposed to too much of it, which may result in side effects including adverse drug reactions (ADRs). If you metabolize a medication too quickly, you may not receive enough of it, which may prevent or reduce the desired effect.
Some medications, known as prodrugs, must first be metabolized into their active form. In these cases the opposite may occur -- if you metabolize these medications slowly, you may not receive enough of the active form or if you metabolize them too quickly, you may receive too much of the active form.
Understanding how you metabolize medications is one of the ways PGx may help your doctors make more informed medication decisions for you.
Pharmacogenomics may provide your doctors with insights for your new and existing medications. It may help with:
CURRENT PRESCRIPTIONS (REACTIVELY): Providers can get insight into why you might be experiencing adverse effects or might not be receiving the expected benefits from a medication you're currently taking
PRESCRIPTION DECISIONS (PROACTIVELY): Before prescribing a new medication, providers may be able to leverage your PGx profile to make more informed decisions
Because your DNA does not change with time, doctors can use your pharmacogenomic test results as a part of your care throughout your lifetime.
Have you ever wondered why a medicine did not work for you when it worked for someone else? Or why you had a side effect from your medication while others taking the same medicine did not? In this video we explain how pharmacogenomics (PGx) and the OneOme RightMed® comprehensive test may provide some insights.