Often it can be quite challenging to find the best treatment for psychiatric conditions despite best efforts of clinicians. This can be due to incomplete response or adverse side effects; both represent a common problem in the field of psychiatry. Fortunately, there are now genetic tests available which help find the best medication available for each individual patient in a shorter amount of time than would otherwise be possible. I am happy to offer my patients the option of getting one of these genetic tests done.
How does it work?
The test itself is a non-invasive, saliva-based test which can be done quickly and easily. This allows the laboratory to analyse the genetic makeup of a patient and use the information to predict how they might respond to certain treatments. Due to such technology, it becomes significantly easier to find a medication and dosage that will work for each individual patient. This can greatly improve treatment and avoid many of the issues surrounding medication in psychiatry.
How much difference does it actually make?
The typical trial and error approach to prescribing medication that psychiatrists are forced to use can and does pose issues sometimes. Many mental health conditions are very difficult to prescribe medication for on the first attempt due to the unpredictability of a patient’s potential response to the medication. In conditions such as depression up to 50% of patients will not respond to the first medication they are offered. Similarly, people may even have adverse side effects to their medication despite a psychiatrist’s best efforts to find something suitable as quickly as possible. This situation can be potentially avoided thanks to the use of these genetic tests. Studies have shown that when genetic testing is used to find a treatment there is up to 91% improvement in patients previously stated to be treatment resistant. There is shown to be a reduction in adverse side effects leading to an ultimately better treatment experience.
What should I do if I’m interested in getting a test?
While there is nothing wrong with the current way of treating psychiatric conditions, if you’ve struggled to find a solution that works for you, then genetic testing can be a very helpful tool. This simple yet effective method can drastically improve your treatment. If you are interested in getting a genetic test, get in touch for a further discussion.