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Pharmacogenetic Testing

Northern Virginia Internal Medicine and Pediatrics

Internal Medicine & Family Medicine & Pediatrician & Internist located in Arlington, VA

Pharmacogenetic testing evaluates your unique genes to find out how you’ll respond to the medication before you ever take the drug itself. At Northern Virginia Internal Medicine and Pediatrics in Arlington, Virginia, experienced medical providers Mary Ellen Gallagher, MD uses pharmacogenetic testing to accurately predict which drugs are the best treatment for you. Call the office or book an appointment online today.

Pharmacogenetic Testing Q & A

What is pharmacogenetic testing?

Pharmacogenetic testing evaluates your genetic code to find information used to plan treatment. Your unique genetic code might cause you to react to a medication in a different way than someone else. 

Pharmacogenetic testing checks the genes important in drug metabolism and other genes that influence the way you process medication. 

Testing can cover a wide array of different prescription and nonprescription drugs to produce accurate predictions of how you'll respond based on your genetic makeup.

When would I need pharmacogenetic testing?

The primary reason you might need pharmacogenetic testing is for treatment customization. Through  pharmacogenetic testing, your medical care providers at Northern Virginia Internal Medicine and Pediatrics can look at the unique genetic variations that determine how you'll respond to medication. 

Pharmacogenetic testing can help maximize treatment outcomes for nearly anyone but is especially helpful in the following situations.

Multiple medication use

Pharmacogenetic testing may be particularly beneficial if you regularly take multiple medications. It can be hard to keep track of all your medications, which might lead to dosing errors with serious consequences. Pharmacogenetic testing can help you avoid that.

Past allergic reactions

If you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to a medication, pharmacogenetic testing can help you avoid other drugs that might cause a similar response. 

Pre-existing health conditions

You might need pharmacogenetic testing as part of treatment planning if you have pre-existing conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, or other serious health problems. 

Planned surgery

Pharmacogenetic testing may be part of a pre-operative clearance appointment. Through this kind of testing, your care providers will already know which pain medication works most effectively for you post-surgery, even which antibiotics are most effective for your unique case.

In general, older adults are more likely to need pharmacogenetic testing than their younger counterparts.

With this information from pharmacogenetics, you'll know which drugs work best for you and the most effective dosage before taking the medication. This testing can eliminate a great deal of trial-and-error with drugs, as you can start taking the most effective medicine from the beginning.

How does pharmacogenetic testing work?

Pharmacogenetic testing generally requires a simple blood draw. Northern Virginia Internal Medicine and Pediatrics offers full lab testing in the office, so you can undergo this testing quickly and conveniently.

Your Northern Virginia Internal Medicine and Pediatrics providers use pharmacogenetic testing to personalize your care, maximize your health, and speed recovery when you’re sick. Learn more about how this type of testing can help you by calling the office or scheduling an appointment online today.