Are you struggling with depression? Frustrated because you’ve tried many antidepressant medications and they either don’t work or the side effects are way too uncomfortable?
All you want is for your depressive symptoms to go away WITHOUT feeling physically sick or dealing with other mental health issues, such as anxiety.
Again, we understand.
Psychiatric medications are difficult for many people. The difficulty often leads people to stop taking medication, leaving them suffering from their depression.
While many health care providers will say the only way to find out if a medication will have adverse reactions is to try them, there is a better way. It is much faster and easier than trial and error.
Medication is meant to help treat pain or medical issues that impact people’s quality of life or longevity. The way medication acts in the body different between people. Drug metabolism is unique to each individual.
Enzymes in the body break down drugs in the body. The efficiency of that breakdown is what dictates how effective the drug is and whether or not the person suffers from side effects. This is why drug treatment can be difficult for some people, especially if their body metabolizes drugs in a way that causes discomfort.
Patient outcomes depend on how the body responds to medication, which is why it’s so important that we understand more about people’s bodies and how they respond to psychiatric drugs.
Clinicians prescribing antidepressants often try increasing and decreasing the dosing of medication to boost effectiveness or limit medication side effects, but it can take months or years to find the right medication at the right dose.
Genetic tests have slowly entered the field of psychiatry to help identify the best antidepressants and psychiatric medication for mental health disorders. The test results from genetic testing are still in its early stages, but many people have used genetic information to help them with their treatment.
Each person’s genetic makeup is different. Those suffering from conditions such as major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder may be good candidates for pharmacogenomic tests. Genomics, the study of whole genomes, can help shed light on the mental health condition as well as what can treat it.
Learn More: A Genetic Test Identifies Best Antidepressant
Genetic testing for breast cancer has been around for decades now, and people use it regularly to identify whether they have genetic mutations that can lead to breast cancer. The same can be done to identify the effectiveness of antidepressant medications. By analyzing raw data from a DNA test, it’s possible to know if a medication like Paxil or Lexapro may be effective for a person and how likely the person may suffer from side effects or addiction.
Pharmacogenomic testing has helped many people receive the psychiatric treatment they need to balance neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine. With this balancing, finding the right antidepressant treatment at the right dose is easier and quicker. For instance, not everyone benefits from SSRIs for depression treatment. With a DNA test report, it’s possible to know if a person’s genetic makeup is similar to people who have had success with SSRIs for depression. It can even show optimal drug levels so clinicians have a better idea of what dosage to start with when prescribing.
Learn More: How to Reduce Side Effects of Medicine
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has started to consider pharmacogenetic testing as a viable approach to identifying the best drug therapy for those suffering from mental illness. This is not a surprise as geneticists and researchers have found that DNA variations among groups of people with similar mental health concerns and treatments are similar.
As more research is performed and more people follow the recommendations by their gene test, many organizations including the American Psychiatric Association will begin to support the use of pharmacogenomics in psychiatry.
One of the reasons people do not seek genetic testing for depression treatment is because they don’t know that access to it is as simple as signing up for an account on Sequencing.com. People who have already had a DNA test with a DNA testing company such as 23andMe, MyHeritage, etc. can upload their raw DNA data to Sequencing.com’s secure and confidential database to be used with the Medication and Drug Response analysis app.
The Medication and Drug Response analysis app will analyze DNA data to reveal specific medications that have been found to be effective for people with similar genetic makeup. The report includes many different types of medications and can be used throughout life to help with future medications for other concerns, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
Individuals who have not taken a DNA test yet can purchase one from Sequencing.com. Two DNA tests are available - Ultimate DNA Test and Ultimate Genome Sequencing. The former is a basic DNA test offered by most DNA testing companies. The Ultime Genome Sequencing is a much more comprehensive test. It is clinical-grade and sequences 100% of your genome. You will receive the most information from an Ultimate Genome Sequencing DNA test vs. the Ultimate DNA test.
Once the DNA test results are ready, the DNA raw data will be uploaded to your Sequencing.com account. You can then analyze raw data with the Medication and Drug Response analysis app or any of the other apps available.
For many years, people suffering from depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and many other mental health conditions simply had to take their chances when taking medications. Mant lives have been lost because they took their own lives due to a side of their medication or they didn’t take their antidepressants and their condition led them to suicide. Either case is devastating and that’s why genetic testing is such a huge light in the darkness of treating depression.
With the genetic information that can come from analyzing a person’s raw DNA data, individuals can increase their chances of finding the right medication and dose for them.
If you’re suffering from depression or another mental health condition, consider genetic testing. It could provide you with the information needed to finally find a drug treatment that will work for you.