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It's a big word and trips me up every time I try to say it! 

Pharmacogenetics, also called pharmacogenomics, studies how genes affect the body's response to certain drugs. 

Genes are the parts of DNA passed down in your genetic material from your parents. We know them as carrying the genetic information that determines your unique traits, such as height, eye colour and predisposition to various diseases. But, what many people don't know is that your genes can also affect how your body processes and responds to a drug molecule.

 Genes can explain why two people may respond differently to the same medication. Some may have side effects, while others do not. Pharmacogenetic testing looks at your specific genes to help figure out the types of medicines and dosages that may be right for you.  

At Dispensaries Ltd, we take personalized medicine to a whole new level!

Why do we offer pharmacogenetic testing?

If everyone responded the same way to medications, only one remedy would be needed for every indication. Reality is very different. Drug and dosing recommendations are based on average drug responses, but individuals are not average. What works for one can often be ineffective or cause unacceptable side effects for another. Many common medications can have little impact or be intolerable in up to two-thirds of people. 

More than 98% of individuals carry one or more gene variants that will cause an unexpected response to one or more common medications. 

Up to 80% of individual drug responses can be due to genetics. 

As pharmacists, we have witnessed the traditional "trial and error" method of prescribing can result in cycling through multiple drugs over many weeks, months, or even years. This is frustrating for the patients, time-consuming, wasteful and costly.  

We want to help. Pharmacogenetic testing looks at your specific genes to help figure out the types of medicines and dosages that may be right for you.  

At Dispensaries Ltd, we take personalized medicine to a whole new level!

How is the test performed?

The test is simple and done at the pharmacy. The test kit is available at our pharmacies, where a cheek-swab sample is done and mailed directly back to Inagene's lab in Toronto. Our pharmacist registers the account on a secure portal, and the confidential results are posted in 5-7 business days.   A very report details your predicted response to medications based on the presence or absence of specific genetic variants.  

The report will very clearly show:

  1. Do NOT use medications - These medications are not recommended for you if alternative medication options are available, as they may be ineffective or unsafe/cause unacceptable side effects. 
  2. Medications to use with caution - These medications should be used with caution for you and come with special instructions (such as an altered dose, possible drug-drug interactions or special monitoring requirements that differ from most people). 
  3. Medications to use as directed - Based on your genetic profile, there is no reason to believe that these medications would not work well for you, so they can be used as directed.
  4. Preferred medication to use as directed - Based on your genetic profile, these medications may have an increased likelihood of being effective for you compared with most other people. 

Our pharmacists will review the personalized insights report with you and share this report with your physician and recommend what available medication is best suited for you.

Find the proper treatment faster.

Despite the availability of effective treatments for many psychiatric illnesses, including mood and anxiety disorders, arriving at the best treatment can still take weeks or months. Patients can become discouraged, discontinue treatments and experience prolonged suffering.

An estimated two-thirds of patients with depression will not respond to first-line treatment, and more than one-third will become treatment-resistant.

Who should use pharmacogenetic testing?

Anyone living with:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Chronic pain
  • Substance abuse

Anyone without optimal treatment response: previously failed treatment trials, poor response or adverse events

Patients with on multiple medications to treat a condition

To find out more about pharmacogenetics or book a consultation, contact any one of our locations.

We are here to help.



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