How to reduce side effects?
The same drug can cause different reactions. Some drug will help, some will cause significant side effects, sometimes even would be useless for the same disease in the same dosage.
Why is this happening?
- The individual response to the medication depends on the age characteristics, concomitant diseases, taking other drugs, addictions, and even dietary preferences. But first of all – the genetic characteristics of a person.
- Absorption, distribution, and degradation in the liver or excretion of the drug effect of the drug itself determine small changes in genes encoding target proteins for a particular drug. By themselves, these changes in the genes are not a sign of the disease or its cause. As a form of ear or eye color, which are also affected by changes in genes, these characteristics accrue to patients from their parents.
What is pharmacogenetic testing?
- You may not know how the body responds to the medication. To determine the genetic characteristics to predict individual response – the essence of science of pharmacogenetics. This approach assumes that the choice of drug and dosage required is performed after pharmacogenetic testing. To do this, you need to donate blood or tissue scrapings from the inside of the cheek – the genetic material is sent to the molecular genetic laboratory. Suffice to be tested once in a lifetime, it is performed for several hours (in the presence of a special laboratory modern equipment).
- Testing can improve treatment efficiency and reduce the risk of side effects. But its use in practice is only possible if a specific test has proved to be effective in well-designed clinical trials. Only then its results can be trusted. In addition, it is important to model the “work” of the new technology has been built correctly in actual practice.
How it works?
- A good example – warfarin, a drug which thinning the blood. This drug prevents the dangerous condition associated with the formation of blood clots in the body – stroke, pulmonary embolism, thrombosis in the veins of the legs, and so on. The problem is that in its application are bleeding, in some cases – life threatening. Pharmacogenetic testing is used to minimize the risk of complications, which is particularly important for patients with impaired renal function and liver, stomach ulcer.
- First, the doctor will determine the indications for use of warfarin. Then write out a direction for implementation of the test, indicating therein the characteristics of the patient, which may also need to calculate the individual dose. With the help of special devices released genetic material that “is run” through other devices. It is determined whether a patient has changes in the genes that determine sensitivity to warfarin. Results (genotype) received a doctor – Clinical Pharmacology. Doctor enters the data into a special computer program to calculate the most likely individual dose. On the basis of these calculations and analysis of the patient’s medical history, clinical pharmacologist test generates recommendations for the appointment and control of the use of the drug to the treating physician. Thus, ideally, clinical pharmacologist should monitor the implementation of recommendations, to intervene actively in the treatment process to adjust the dose of medication.