What the Future Holds in Pharmacogenomics

The genetic makeup of everyone is not created the same. But most treatments, especially medications, are the same. Scientists and clinicians are still conducting research, which can address this problem by leading the charge toward precision medicines.

The idea of drugs takes into account variations between individuals’ exposure, lifestyles, and genomes to environments to cure with precision, predict with precision, and diagnose with precision. This is where pharmacogenomics comes in.

What Pharmacogenomics Is

It refers to the study of the way genes affect an individual’s response to medicines. This field has combined pharmacology and genomics to develop safer and more effective medications that a doctor can prescribe based on a patient’s genetic makeup.

Most drugs which are available currently are one-size-fits-all. But don’t work similarly for every patient. That said, it is difficult to know who can benefit from a certain medication and who won’t respond to it completely.

Researchers continuously learn how gene variants affect the human body’s response to drugs or treatment. This genetic variation helps predict whether a medication will be effective for a patient and the dose that can prevent drug reactions. Some of the conditions, which can affect an individual’s response to some drugs, include the following:

  • Toxic epidermal necrolysis
  • Thiopurine S-methyltransferase deficiency
  • Malignant hyperthermia
  • Warfarin sensitivity
  • Clopidogrel resistance
  • Warfarin resistance

How Pharmacogenomics Work

Drugs usually interact with a patient’s body in various ways. This depends on how patients take the medication and where drugs act in their bodies. After taking medication, the body is required to break the drug down and reach the intended place.

A patient’s DNA may as well impact steps in this whole process and influence how they respond to drugs. Perfect examples of interactions are drug receptors, drug breakdown, targeted drug development, and drug uptake.

Pharmacogenomics and Patient Care

Pharmacogenetics/pharmacogenomics is also referred to as drug-gene testing. All these terms characterize the study of the way genes impact the body’s response to medicines.

According to experts, your body consists of numerous genes inherited from your parents. Genes usually help to determine which traits you will have, including blood type and eye color.

Some genes are also liable for how your body processes drugs. Pharmacogenomics testing for variants or changes in these genes can determine whether medications will be effective or if you could experience side effects from specific medicines.

Basically, pharmacogenomics testing is a tool, which helps the healthcare team know the best treatment for you. Healthcare experts also consider other factors, like your lifestyle, age, general health, and other medications you’re currently taking.

Through pharmacogenomics, some healthcare areas have also seen some success. Mental health treatment, cancer therapy, and pain management are among the areas, which are ahead of the curve in using pharmacogenomics information.

Similarly, a mutation in the gene coding for enzymes may dictate the effectiveness of common cancer-fighting drugs. If patients are found to have known genotypes related to influencing a drug’s toxicity, a provider may fine-tune dosing so as to deliver the right amount.

The Bottom Line!

With continuous developments and research in pharmacogenomics, this knowledge will likely be used in prescribing medicines in the future. But before pharmacogenomics is integrated more into prescribing and primary health, more research is required.

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