A lot has happened in personalized medicine, especially in mental health.
One of these advancements is GeneSight testing, a groundbreaking genetic test that provides insights into how people might respond to certain psychiatric medications.
Let’s explore GeneSight testing in this blog post, how it works, and what it is used for.
GeneSight Testing – What Is It?
GeneSight testing, or pharmacogenetic testing, examines a patient’s genetic makeup to identify how they will react and respond to different psychiatric drugs.
The test looks at genes that affect how medications are processed.
Healthcare professionals can identify genetic variations that affect how certain medicines work so they can make better treatment decisions.
How Does GeneSight Testing Work?
Here’s how it works.
- GeneSight testing involves a straightforward process that begins with a simple spit swab from inside the cheek to collect a DNA sample from the patient.
- The sample is then sent to a lab for genetic analysis.
- The laboratory examines specific genes involved in drug metabolism and analyzes variations in those genes that can impact a person’s response to medications.
- The results of the GeneSight test are provided to the healthcare provider within two days.
- The report categorizes medications into three color-coded categories: “green,” “yellow,” “red,” and “grey.”
These categories indicate the medications’ effectiveness and side effect profile based on the patient’s genetic profile.
Healthcare providers can use this information to make treatment decisions for their patients.
What Is It Used For?
GeneSight tests can be applied to many mental health and psychiatry areas. This test is especially useful in the following areas:
- Medication Selection: GeneSight testing provides valuable information about which medications are likely to be the most effective for a person – by identifying medications that are “green” in the report, healthcare providers can create better treatment plans by choosing medications that are more likely to work well for the patient based on their genetic profile.
- Avoiding Side Effects/Adverse Reactions: Genetic variations may make some people more prone to adverse reactions or side effects. GeneSight testing can help pinpoint medications that might have a higher risk of adverse reactions, which allows healthcare providers to avoid prescribing those medications in the first place.
- Treatment Resistance: People with mental health conditions may sometimes not respond to standard treatment approaches. Using GeneSight testing, you can identify genetic factors contributing to treatment resistance. The information can help healthcare providers determine alternative treatment strategies or adjust medication dosages.
- Polypharmacy Management: Multiple medications are used to treat psychiatric conditions in polypharmacy. Healthcare providers can use GeneSight testing to identify drug interactions and improve medication combinations based on a person’s genetic profile.
- Long-Term Treatment Monitoring: GeneSight tests can be used for long-term monitoring and during treatment. A patient’s genetic makeup doesn’t change over time, so the insights provided by the test remain relevant throughout treatment. The GeneSight testing can be repeated if modifications need to be made to the medication plan or new medications added to support ongoing optimization.
Get Personalized Treatment with GeneSight Testing
GeneSight testing is a breakthrough that brings personalized medicine to psychiatry.
If you or a loved one are struggling with mental health conditions, consider discussing GeneSight testing with your healthcare provider.
You can gain much knowledge and improve your treatment strategies, ultimately improving your health.
With Awaken Telepsychiatry, you’ll get personalized, research-based mental health care.
Contact us today to learn more about GeneSight testing and how it can benefit your mental health treatment.