The benefits of pharmacogenetic testing
Posted on 5 April 2023
Mediclinic Precise harnesses the power of precision medicine to analyse a patient’s genetic information. The healthcare provider can then personalise treatment options – and improve outcomes.
What is pharmacogenetic testing?
Pharmacogenetic testing, also known as genetic testing or DNA screening, is a process that analyses a patient’s genetic information to inform treatment decisions, explains Dr Lizahn Haasbroek, a clinical pharmacologist who is also a Product Manager for Mediclinic’s new precision medicine initiative, Mediclinic Precise. “By examining a patient’s genetic makeup, doctors can identify potential drug interactions or adverse reactions, and determine the most effective dosage for prescription medications,” she adds.
The science behind pharmacogenetic testing
Pharmacogenetic testing works by identifying specific genetic variations that can impact how a patient’s body processes and responds to medication. This information can then be used to inform treatment decisions and reduce potential adverse drug reactions. For example, says Dr Haasbroek, certain genetic variations can indicate a slower metabolism, which could result in higher–than-normal drug levels in a patient’s bloodstream. By understanding these genetic variations, healthcare providers can adjust the dosage of a medication to avoid harmful side–effects.
3 major benefits of pharmacogenetic testing
1. Personalised treatment options
One of the biggest benefits of DNA screening is the ability to personalise treatment options, explains Dr Haasbroek. “The more detail and data we have about a patient’s unique genetic makeup, the more accurate we can be in identifying and prescribing the best medication. This approach to treatment can also increase the effectiveness of prescription medications, leading to improved patient outcomes.”
Pharmacogenetic testing can also reduce the risk of adverse drug reactions. By identifying potential drug interactions, doctors can avoid prescribing medicines that could cause harm to the patient. This information is especially important for patients taking multiple medications, she says, as the risk of adverse drug reactions increases with each additional medication.
Besides reducing the risk of adverse drug reactions, pharmacogenetic testing can also improve the accuracy of prescription medication dosing. Using data from a patient’s genetic screening, doctors can determine the most effective dosage much more efficiently and accurately, says Dr Haasbroek, reducing the risk of over- or underdosing. This can lead to improved patient outcomes and reduced healthcare costs.
Benefit from treatment plans designed for you
Mediclinic Precise uses detailed DNA screening to define and tailor innovative treatment plans to your specific genetic profile and helps your doctor to prescribe medication that you or your family may need in the future. Pharmacogenetic testing is just one aspect of this revolutionary new offering – find out more about Mediclinic Precise here.