If you're one of the more than 264 million people who suffer from depression, you know how hard it is to treat it. Finding the right cocktail of medications can take months or even years for many people. Some people are never able to find the right antidepressant.
Why It's So Difficult to Find Effective Drug Treatment for Depression
Every single person is different. The genetic makeup of each person is unique. That genetic makeup is what affects chemicals that govern how the body functions. When people take any prescribed drug, it interacts with those chemicals. The interactions aren't always helpful, which can lead to ineffectiveness, medication side effects, or worsening of symptoms.
The field of psychiatry has been working on ways to identify the right medication and the right dosage for mental health patients for decades. It hasn't been until pharmacogenetics came along that the field has finally found hope in treating patients more effectively and faster.
Genetic Tests for Antidepressants
Genetic tests reveal genetic information that can help psychiatrists identify the best antidepressants for people with depression. Genomics, the field of studying genomes and genetics, has been able to report on drug metabolism.
Genetic variations in CYP2D6 can increase how quickly a patient metabolizes antidepressants. Since it is so fast, it can put the patient at risk for serious, life-threatening adverse reactions such as suicide.
A gene test can show the genetic variation of CYP2D6. With this genetic information, a prescribing doctor can use Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) to inhibit the ultra-rapid metabolism of the drug. Many people with major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder with the CYP2D6 genetic variation have found relief from their symptoms with this antidepressant treatment.
Benefits of Gene Testing for Antidepressant Response
Pharmacogenetic testing (gene testing to identify specific medications) has many benefits:
- Test results reveal the best types of medications for a person.
- Health care providers can use pharmacogenetic tests to choose psychiatric medication dosing.
- People who use pharmacogenomics testing experience the effectiveness of antidepressant medications much sooner.
In the following video, watch someone who used pharmacogenomics testing for antidepressants.
Does Genetic Testing for Antidepressants Work
One of the most common questions people ask is if genetic testing for antidepressants works. Many studies have shown the findings from genetic testing have successfully treated depression. Harvard Medical School is still skeptical, but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is not discounting it as a possibility. In 2020, the FDA reviewed scientific evidence and issued a table of gene-drug interactions for which genetic testing is appropriate to determine safe medications and doses.
Pharmacogenomic tests are the future, and as more people use them, they will grow in popularity. A patient's response to the medications and dosages prescribed based on the test report is what shows how well it works.
Where to Get Gene Testing for Antidepressants
What many people don't realize is that they can use the DNA test they've already taken with popular testing companies, such as 23andMe, MyHeritage, DanteLabs, etc. Raw DNA data can be downloaded from these companies and uploaded easily to Sequencing.com's secure and confidential account. Once that is done, the DNA data can be used in our app: Medication and Drug Response Advanced Pharmacogenomics Analysis.
You will receive a report that will identify response to antidepressant medications, risk of harmful side effects, and risk of addiction.
Those who haven't done a DNA test yet can do so easily with one of our DNA kits. Simply order one below to receive all you need to take the test. After sending in your DNA sample, we'll analyze it for medication and drug responses to send you the report.
One report is all you need for your entire life. Not only can you take it to your psychiatrist or prescribing doctor to help with finding an effective antidepressant, but you can use it whenever you need treatment for any medical concern. Genetic makeup never changes, so the information you gain from the report can be used your entire life.
Order a Pharmacogenetics Test Report
Those who have already had a DNA test by 23andMe, AncestryDNA, MyHeritage, FamilyTreeDNA, and Dante Labs can upload their raw DNA data easily to Sequencing.com's secure and confidential account. Our Privacy First commitment ensures your data remains private. We never sell or share your data, including your DNA data, with anyone.
For those who have not yet taken a DNA test and don’t have raw DNA to upload, you can purchase a DNA test kit online. Once the DNA test has completed, your DNA data will be stored in your confidential Sequencing.com account and ready to use with the Medication & Drug Response DNA analysis app or another report from the wide assortment available from Sequencing.com.