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? A medication response test, also known as a pharmacogenomic (PGx) test, may provide the answer.

Pharmacogenomic testing identifies how your genes affect your response to medications. Getting a test done may help your doctor adjust your medications to be more effective for you.

When you take a medication, your body’s response is determined by many factors, including your gender, weight, age, diet, other medications, any medical conditions, and exposure to environmental agents such as cigarette smoke.

Your genetic makeup can also have a major influence. In fact, genetic factors can account for up to 95% of how you respond to medications.

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.

Depending on your genes, your body may break down a drug too slowly or too quickly. If you metabolize a drug too slowly, you may be exposed to too much of it, which may result in an adverse drug reaction (ADR). If you metabolize a drug too quickly, you may not get enough to have any effect at all. A pharmacogenomic test helps to identify this for your doctors.

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