pharmacogenomics testing

Can pharmacogenomics testing help me find the right medication?

People find appropriate medications that work according to their unique needs only after testing varied medications and their dosages. As they vary in effectiveness, there is a possibility of getting negative side effects as well. The process of finding the right medication plan is often time-consuming and frustrating.

Thanks to pharmacogenomics (PGx) testing, many care providers have started recommending it to determine the right medications and the right dose that really works. Keep reading to know in detail about this lab test.

What is pharmacogenomics?

Before diving deep into this topic, let’s go through some shocking statistics on adverse drug reactions:

Each year:

  • More than 2,216,000 people show severe adverse drug reactions
  • 1.3 million emergency department visits are required
  • Elders visit emergency departments nearly 450,000 times, more than twice as often as younger people.
  • Nearly 106,000 people die

The need of the hour is to opt for pharmacogenomic testing to increase safety and confidence while trying medications.

Pharmacogenomics (PGx) is the study of how a person’s genetic information affects the way they respond to drugs. This test involves the use of samples like saliva, a buccal (cheek) swab, or blood. The average turnaround time will be 24 hours.

How does pharmacogenomics work?

Here are three different ways of genetic variation that can determine how our bodies react to medications:

  • Rapid metabolizer
  • Slow metabolizer 
  • Extensive metabolizer 

These different groups correspond to whether the unique genetic variation of a specific enzyme can break down the drug slowly, quickly, or at an average rate respectively. Knowing the type of genetic variations can provide insights into how our body can break down drugs.

What is the purpose of the pharmacogenomic test?

A pharmacogenomic test can be used to

  • Figure out if a medication is effective for the patient
  • Detect the right dose of the given medication
  • Precisely find out the possibility of side effects
  • Find out the effectiveness of medication processing inside the body

What are the benefits of the PGx test?

According to the CDC reports,

  • 50% used a minimum of 1 medication in 30 days
  • 25% used 3 or more medications
  • 13% used 5 or more

The above-mentioned statistics continue to rise. The goal of the PGx test is to treat the condition with the fewest medications while eliminating the likelihood of side effects. As a result, you will experience the following benefits:

  • Fewer medical bills
  • Fewer clinician visits
  • Fewer prescriptions 
  • Improved patient-provider relationship
  • Empowering patients in their own healthcare
  • Better health outcomes
  • Reduction in the overall healthcare costs
  • Improvement in drug discovery and approval
  • Advanced disease screening
  • Speed recovery time
  • Increase safety without any trial and error method
  • Maximize the therapy’s potential and reduce the likelihood of overdose

Usually, doctors can use pharmacogenomics testing to choose certain medicines for pain, mental illnesses, and chronic diseases. 

Evidence supporting pharmacogenomics test

  • The FDA has stated that pharmacogenomics can significantly identify responders and non-responders to medicines, optimize drug dose, and avoid adverse side effects.
  • Research studies revealed that patients who underwent the PGx test experienced with 71% more likely to achieve remission on their medication regimen when compared to those who didn’t undergo the PGx test
  • Even The American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) updated 2020 schizophrenia treatment guidelines which revealed that antipsychotic treatment “can be influenced by genetic differences and metabolic enzyme activity.”

Although medications are marketed as “one size fits all”, not everyone reacts to the same medication in the same way due to every individual’s unique genetic makeup. This is where the past decades have witnessed the rise in personalized (precision) medicine where PGx play a significant role.

Who is PGx testing best suited for?

Anyone can undergo PGx testing. However, the ideal candidates for this test include:

  • People worried about medications side effects 
  • People with comorbidities and chronic illnesses 
  • Patients with specific lifestyles such as smoking, drinking, or increased coffee consumption
  • Patients interested in knowing about their genetic makeup

Are both pharmacogenetics and pharmacogenomics the same?

Although both the terms “pharmacogenetics” and “pharmacogenomics” are similar, there is a slight difference between them. Pharmacogenetics determines how a single gene can affect a specific medication. Determination of this gene helps to predict the right medications and their doses for better health outcomes. 

On the other hand, pharmacogenomics includes not only the information gained from pharmacogenetics tests but also determines how other genes may affect the medication indirectly. Thus, getting the bigger picture helps predict potential issues better.

Does your medication work for you?

Would you like to opt for PGx testing to know whether your meds work for you? Contact DLW by calling +1 (205) 994-8266 or mail us at

DLW’s pharmacogenomic testing services are designed to help your care provider personalize your treatment plan based on your unique genetic profile. With the PGx test, discover the right medication for you with precision!