How your genes help determine which medications work best for you

The drugs available today to treat diseases are powerful agents that work as intended for most people. Yet, in some cases, a particular drug at the standard dose might not work for you or may trigger an unintended side effect.

When you take a medication, your body’s response is determined by many factors, including your distinct genetic makeup. Depending on your unique genes, you may process medications differently than other people, causing too much of a reaction or no reaction at all.

Fortunately, St. Clair Hospital has teamed with Mayo Clinic to provide pharmacogenomics (PGx) testing to determine how your genes affect your response to certain medications. The results of this type of testing can provide your health care providers with information so they can adjust certain medications to be more effective for you.

When should a patient have PGx testing?

Mayo Clinic research has shown that even when looking at a small fraction of the human genome, 99% of people had genetic variations that influence medication selection and dosing.

As a result, PGx testing may provide benefits for people taking multiple medications, experiencing unpleasant side effects, or taking medication with known genetic influences.

St. Clair in collaboration with Mayo Clinic:  genetic testing

As a global reference laboratory, Mayo Clinic Laboratories serves more than 4.5 million patients worldwide. With 25 million tests performed annually and pharmacogenomic tests reviewed by medical experts daily, you can rest assured your test is in good hands.

St. Clair Hospital and Mayo Clinic Laboratories provide more than just test results. Together, we provide guidance to improve your medication experience.

Our physicians, pharmacists, and laboratorians are working around the clock to ensure you receive the patient care you need, with timely results, allowing you to work with your health care providers on treatment options for the best outcomes.

Reviewing your test results

We understand that interpreting genetic testing results can be difficult for non-experts, so St. Clair Hospital is collaborating with Mayo Clinic to provide personalized medication guidance based on your results.

This guidance includes:

  • Affirming standard dosing is recommended.
  • Potential for lack of efficacy (i.e., treatment is not
    producing the desired effects) and considerations
    for increased dosage or alternative medications.
  • Assessment for risk of toxicity and considerations
    for alternative medications.

After your physicians have received your test results,
they will share how your genes may affect your health
care now and in the future.

About pharmacogenomic (PGx) results

DO NOT make any changes to your medication without
talking to your health care provider or pharmacist.

  • Share your results with all your healthcare providers as part of your personal health history.
  • PGx results provide guidelines for some medications.
  •  PGx testing DOES NOT:
      > Apply to all medications.
      > Address all drug side effects or drug allergies.
      > Explain drug-drug interactions or drug-food interactions.
  • PGx results are specific to the person being tested only. DO NOT use your PGx results to guide medication decisions for others