Genetic test info

A couple days ago I mentioned in a post that I had been given a genetic test to see how I metabolize prescription medication, I’ve been in the middle of a particularly horrid flare but wanted to at least get some info out for those of you who wanted to know more about it.

A little background one me first. From the age of 11 I have been treated for major depressive disorder, which included me being on anti-depressants. We had a horrible time finding something that would work. They would either lose their effectiveness after a few months or they made me have mood swings, nothing really helped. Fast forward to my early twenties when I first got sick with what later was diagnosed with lupus and a few years later, fibromyalgia. I began taking pain pills and muscle relaxers as needed until a few years ago I was placed on daily pills. The problem was that by 3-1/2 hours the pain would come back with a vengeance and would have to wait, it heaps of pain, to take my next dose. It was even more evident in the muscle relaxers I was on, 3 hours in they would suddenly stop working and I hade to writhe in pain for another three hours till I could take my next dose. We bounced around with different medications and different doses to no avail.

My doctor, who was a pharmacist before completing med school, always keeps up with the latest and greatest new things in medicine. She called me in and told me about this genetic test that she wanted me to take. It would show how quickly certain classes of drugs metabolize in my system. It is a simple cheek swab (like you see on Law & Order) and she sends it off to the lab. A few weeks later I got the results and she was almost giddy. She says “you’re a weirdo and I’m so happy!” Turns out I was the first of her patients who was outside of the “normal range”. It turns out that I metabolize a few of the drug categories super fast. And guess which ones? Muscle relaxers, many of the anti-depressants and anxiety drugs and to a lesser extent, some pain pills. So we started tweaking my meds, got rid of some and added some to replace them, adjusted dosing and times between doses. Now I still have a lot of pain, still anxious and depressed, but I have seen a huge improvement in the efficacy of my medicine.

I got a copy of the report, waiting for my next appointment to get my wallet card so doctors are aware of the findings. I was also put into a database for doctors so if I’m in the hospital the doctors can pull up a much more detailed report.

From the site: “The vast majority of drugs are metabolized through the liver. The liver’s primary mechanism for metabolizing drugs is the P450 cytochrome system of enzymes which include CYP2C9, CYP2C19, CYP2D6, CYP3A4 and CYP1A2. Over 50% of the most commonly prescribed medications today are metabolized through the P450 System. Not all patients respond appropriately to a standard, One Size Fits All dose. DNA testing provides a lifetime of protection against drug toxicity or lack of drug efficacy. This simple genetic test, which looks at liver enzymes, will determine your patient’s drug sensitivity.”

This is the info site for the lab that does the test. I’m not sure how much it costs out of pocket, but I have Tricare (now United Health) and they covered the cost 100%.

I hope this might help a few of you. If you have any questions that you don’t wnt to discuss on the forum, feel free to send a private message.

Hey V! Wow that is soooooo interesting! I have heard of this before and want to have this testing on myself. I feel like I don’t metabolize prescription meds properly because either they don’t work or they make me really sick. Thank you for sharing this info this is helpful to many of us take care!

THANK YOU for sharing this! I have an appointment Thursday and am absolutely asking about this! I have so much difficulty with meds, mine seems to be the opposite where I metabolize slowly and then they make me really sick. Either way, this was a great post for me. Thanks! I hope this gets you more normalized with your meds as well.

Thank you!