Best genetic testing for medication response

Did you know that your unique genetics determines how well or poorly your body responds to a particular medication? I didn’t know this until I discovered the mygenerx test – the best form of genetic testing for medication response in SA.

HOW THE GENETIC TESTING WORKS

The good news is that mygenerx is a simple, non-invasive DNA test that doesn’t take much time at all.

All you need to do is:

  • Order and pay for the test online, which took me minutes to do.
  • The collection kit then arrives at your door and it contains everything you need to do the test at home.

Next, you’ll need to take a cheek swab that you rub on the inside of your mouth. I was told not to eat or drink for an hour before taking the swab. Lastly, you’ll need to order the courier to collect the sample and deliver it to the mygenerx lab where they will use your DNA sample to analyse your unique genetic variations. (The sample can be kept in the fridge for up to a week but it’s best to send it off right away).

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WHAT DOES THE TEST REVEAL?

I was thrilled to see that the test can identify your response to over 200 medications, including most pain medications, anti-coagulants, anti-depressants, cardiovascular medications as well as anti-inflammatories – that we all take at some stage or another. So pretty much everything is covered!

The lab analyses 62 genetic variations within your own DNA sequence to determine how fast or slow your body metabolises a medication. If there is a variation in your DNA that leads to a specific enzyme working faster or slower than the norm, it will change how quickly, or slowly, you metabolise certain drugs.

The report you receive and analyse together with your doctor is also easy enough to understand as its colour coded (with blue, green, yellow and red columns) to indicate whether you should use something with caution or avoid it altogether and consider an alternative.

HOW TO USE THE RESULTS

The mygenerx report is so useful because it contains very clear guidelines throughout the document, so that your health care provider can analyse the results and tailor your treatment to minimise the risk of unwanted side effects. Because if, for instance, your body reacts quickly to a certain medication, you might need to take a lower dose and vice versa.

This means there’s no more “trial and error” approach to treatment and you’ll know whether it’s safe to take a certain medication or whether you should steer clear and try an alternative. This is a bog bonus for me, as I’m not a fan of taking all sorts of medications without knowing whether I’ll have side effects or not.

WHAT SOME OF MY RESULTS SHOWED…

In my case, I have certain genetic variations that make me sensitive to warfarin- the common blood thinner. So, if I’m ever in a situation where I need to take it, the doctors will know to adjust my dose accordingly. It was also noted that I am slightly sensitive to pain medications known as opioids, so if I ever have to have major surgery, the doctors will need to adjust my pain medication accordingly.

If you’re serious about your health, I strongly recommend that you have this DNA test done, so that you can manage your medications for life!

If you’d like to order the test for yourself, speak to an expert or just gather more information, visit the mygenerx website or call 011 268 0268.