A DNA test claims to tell you how you’ll respond to depression medications. Here’s what scientists think of it.
Several companies make DNA tests that claim to tell you how well you’ll respond to certain antidepressants based on your genetic profile.
Two personalized medicine companies — Assurex and Genomind — offer some of the most popular tests and work with physicians and pharmacists to provide them to patients.
A chain of Albertsons pharmacies in Chicago, Philadelphia, and Boise is running a pilot program in which pharmacists can offer the Genomind test.
Silicon Valley genetics testing startup Color Genomics recently began offering a similar test as part of its services.
The costs of the tests range from $250 to $750, but some scientists say it’s not worth the money.
Around the time that 26-year-old Courtney Luk got in line at the pharmacy to pick up her 25th depression medication, she decided she’d had enough.
Over the previous two years, Luk had been prescribed everything from Klonopin to Xanax to treat the anxiety and depression she’d experienced since adolescence. Nothing seemed to do the trick. One medication would make her feel numb; others seemed to make her symptoms worse.
Then a psychiatrist suggested she try a genetic test that could provide guidance about which drug Luk should try next. They swabbed the inside of Luk’s cheek for a spit sample and sent it off to get tested.
Using DNA testing to determine how well a given depression medication will work with a patient’s genetic makeup is becoming a popular approach. More than 750,000 people have taken one such test, called GeneSight, which is made by personalized medicine company Assurex, according to its website. A network of 28 Albertsons pharmacies offers a similar test made by a company called Genomind as part of a pilot program. And just last month, Silicon Valley genetics testing startup Color Genomics began offering a test as part of its $250 kits.
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Source:: Business Insider