Personalised Medicine

Personalised Medicine: Where One Size Doesn't Fit All – Uncovering the Potential of Pharmacogenomics.

Ujwala Sangam

November 27, 2023

Imagine a world where one-size-fits-all approach to prescribing medicines is no longer the standard practice in healthcare. Where the effectiveness of medication and severity of potential side effects are not based on educated guesses but tailored specifically to you?

This is not a distant dream, but a growing reality, made possible by the groundbreaking field of Genetics called Pharmacogenomics (PGx) which we are proud to offer at 222 Healthcare Private GP!

What is Pharmacogenomics?

Pharmacogenomics (Pharmacology + Genetics) is the study of how a person’s DNA affects their response to medications. It is a revolutionary new approach to understand whether individual genetic variations affect how their body responds to different medicines.

Not all medications work the same for every person. Factors like age, lifestyle, and DNA can impact how your body responds to medicine. So, it can be a struggle to fully understand how a given medication works for an individual. By looking at the individual's unique genetic makeup including how they metabolise to different drugs, enables doctors to more accurately identify which medication - and what doses - are likely to work best for an individual before they are treated. This minimises medication “Trial and Error”, helping our patients feel better as soon as possible.

Unlocking the Science behind Pharmacogenomics

The core of pharmacogenomics lies in understanding how genes, drug response, and individual variability interlock. When we take medication, our bodies need to break it down and process it. This process is called metabolization. Through breaking down the medication, our bodies absorb it and get it to where it's needed. Genetic variations influence how this process works and are classified into the following different metabolizer types.

- Normal metabolizers – process drugs at the average rate; the drugs usually work as expected of them.

- Poor metabolizers – experience slower drug metabolism; leading to higher drug levels in the body, hence greater side effects.

- Intermediate metabolizers – fall between poor and normal metabolizers.

- Rapid Metabolizers – process the drugs more quickly than usual; leading to lower drug levels in the body, hence may need higher doses to achieve therapeutic effect.

Examples of How People Benefit from Pharmacogenomics

  1. Codeine is a commonly used opioid painkiller that is metabolised by the body by an enzyme called CYP2D6, so people where this enzyme is reduced or non-functional may experience limited conversion of codeine to morphine. As a result, even maximum doses of codeine may not be effective in pain relief.

  2. Commonly prescribed antidepressants like sertraline, citalopram, escitalopram etc are metabolised by CYP2C19, and people with some gene variants of this may experience slower metabolism which can lead to higher drug levels in the body, potentially increasing the risk of side effects.

How to Access our Pharmacogenomics Testing

Your path to personalised medication starts with a simple cheek swab test. After initial consultation, a test kit will be sent to you with instructions and the sample can be returned to a Canadian lab in a pre-paid envelope for analysis to reveal which gene variants you have, and how they impact your response to medication and then tailor your treatment plans and medication to match your genetic profile.

Your Lifetime Personalised Roadmap

One Pharmacogenomics test for life will provide you with a life-long insights into your unique, predicted response to medications commonly used to treat pain, mental health, heart, ADHD, rheumatology, cancer and many more conditions, because the genes you are born with don’t change. 

Where Do I Sign Up?

Get the bespoke treatments with pharmacogenomic testing and personalised prescribing! Book your free exploratory call on our website.

Schedule now and embark on a new healthier you!