A DNA test for medication

Are you receiving a medicine that is not working properly, or are you having a lot of side effects? Sometimes, a DNA test can be carried out. This DNA test will then indicate how much of the medicine you need. This is one of the many applications of a DNA test, besides, for example, the well-known home paternity test kits or paternal DNA tests. Read on for more information regarding this subject if you need more information.

Genes and medicines

Genes can affect the way your body absorbs medicines. Pharmacogenetics can sometimes be used to investigate this. Absorbing and breaking down medicines happens faster in some people than in others. This can cause there to be more or less of the medicine in your blood than intended. If there is too much medicine in your blood, you may have more side effects. If there is too little medicine in your blood, it may not work properly (enough). Through pharmacogenetic testing, your doctor may be able to change the amount of medicine you receive. Or you may be given a different medicine that suits your genes better. However, not every medicine is suited for a pharmacogenetic test. There is a list of around the 80 medicines which respond to this test. Sometimes, the test will be carried out even before you start with the medicine.

How does a pharmacogenetic test work? 

The doctor who prescribes the medication can request the pharmacogenetic test for you. The test is done with blood or saliva. Your doctor will send it to a special laboratory.Most pharmacogenetic tests will set you back between €55 and €210 per test. If this test is necessary for you, your health insurer will usually reimburse you. To be sure, contact your health insurer. It may also be deducted from your own risk. Does the doctor have the DNA test done before you start taking the medicine? If so, your health insurer will usually not reimburse you. You can have DNA testing done separately for each medicine, but you can also have all the medicines on the list tested at once. You will then receive a ‘pharmacogenetic profile’ or ‘pharmacogenetic passport’. With this, your doctor can estimate in advance whether you may need more or less of a medicine. Not every doctor or hospital will perform/make this pharmacogenetic passport/profile, so it is wise to contact them with the question whether or not they do this.