A New Test to Determine The Right Medicine for Your Child
Note: Today’s post is not an attempt to encourage or discourage families from the use of medication. There are many children who already take medicine and there may be families who are considering a trial of medicine; this post is intended to provide information for them.
There are times when a child’s behavior or emotional difficulties warrant the use of psychotropic medicine. When this occurs I refer the child to a board certified medical doctor, a pediatrician or psychiatrist, for an evaluation and follow-up for any prescribed medications. In the past, even the most brilliant physicians could only guess, through trial and error, which medicine would be best tolerated by and help the child.
But those times have been changed by a company called AssureRx Health, Inc. AssureRx has used pharmacogenetics - the study of the genetic factors that influence an individual's response to drug treatments - to develop a laboratory genetic test “that uses cutting edge technology to measure and analyze clinically important genetic variants in psychiatric medicine.” In other words, the doctor does an easy, quick swab to the inside of your child’s cheek to gather DNA. The doctor sends the swab to the company and they determines which medicines will be best suited for your child.
The psychiatrist in my office has been using the GeneSightRx test for a few months now and it is amazing. Truly -Amazing! Medicine is no longer a frustrating and costly (time and money) pursuit for families. The results come back to us in a few days with a full report showing three recommendations for Anti-depressants, Anti-psychotics, and stimulant (ADD/ADHD) medications. The three categories are: Use As Directed, Use With Caution, and Use With Increased Caution and With Frequent Monitoring.
Here is what AssureRx says about the test:
- The patient is diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder and medication therapy is deemed appropriate. A GeneSightRx test is ordered by the clinician through the secure on-line web portal
- A saliva sample is collected using a cheek swab from the patient and shipped overnight to AssureRx Health's CLIA-certified and CAP-accredited laboratory
- The GeneSightRx test is performed and the results are analyzed typically within one business day
- The clinician is emailed that their patient report is ready and accesses the GeneSightRx report through the same secure on-line web portal
- The clinician determines and prescribes the appropriate medication therapy for the patient
What you can expect with each report:
- The most commonly prescribed antidepressant and antipsychotic medications arrayed in three color-coded columns indicating the patient's likelihood of appropriate metabolism and response
- A detailed report of the patient's genetic variants
- A drug interaction table indicating potential conflicting substances”
To read more about the process or to find a prescribing physician, go to the AssureRx website.
Parents, please feel free to share this post with any families who may be struggling with their child's medicine! Find more helpful information and support for families at www.forever-families.com.