Prescription medications go through rigorous testing to show they're effective at treating illnesses. But how do you know they're the right medications for you?
Pharmacogenomics is a new science in Precision Medicine that proactively uses your DNA to show how your body may process specific medications based on your unique genetic profile. It can also reveal potential side effects you might have to certain prescriptions or combinations of medicine before you ever take them.
"A staggering 99% of the population is estimated to have some type of genetic factor that affects how a variety of medications are metabolized. Without this information, patients run the risk of taking drug combinations and dosages that don’t benefit them and, at worst, could result in adverse drug events that may threaten their health."
Burns C. Blaxall, PhD, Founding Executive Director of Precision Medicine at The Christ Hospital Health Network
How pharmacogenomics works
With just a quick cheek swab, our pharmacogenomics-certified pharmacists use information in your DNA to better identify specific drug combinations and dosages that should work best for you.
These specially trained pharmacists work alongside primary care providers with The Christ Hospital Physicians throughout Greater Cincinnati to screen patients taking multiple medications, especially those with chronic health conditions like heart failure or cancer.
The pharmacist will meet with you and your doctor to talk through any recommended medication adjustments based on their findings, to integrate any recommended changes with your entire care team, and to follow-up on how those changes are working.
"Many times, it just seems that patients do not respond well to a drug. With genetic testing, not only can we ensure they are on the right medication—but we also make sure they are taking the correct dose."
Jennifer Wick, PharmD, MPH, BCACP, The Christ Hospital Health Network
How can pharmacogenomics help me?
For many years, prescription drugs have been viewed as "one size fits all." But they don't always work the same way for everyone.
Because of genetic differences, a medication might be the perfect treatment for one person – and have no impact on a similar person of the same age, weight, and background.
With genetic testing, doctors and pharmacists have much more information to tailor treatments specifically for you. And with more than 55-million people in the U.S. taking five or more prescription drugs regularly, pharmacogenomics can help patients get the right treatments more quickly and eliminate drugs that simply aren't working for them.
Is pharmacogenomics right for you?
If you have questions about pharmacogenomics or want to know if genetic testing for your medications is right for you – talk to your primary care provider or call 513-5RX-HELP (513-579-4357) for additional information if you are currently seeing a provider with The Christ Hospital Physicians.
Looking for a new primary care provider so you can participate in our pharmacogenomics program? Click here to find a provider with The Christ Hospital Physicians – Primary Care close to you.