What is Pharmacogenetics – Inagene Diagnostics Inc.

Pharmacogenetics reveals which gene variants you have, and how they impact your response to medications.

Scroll down to learn more about the science behind Inagene Personalized Insights™ and how a simple cheek swab test is revolutionizing medication prescribing.

Order A Test Kit

Pharmacogenetics reveals which gene variants you have, and how they impact your response to medications.

Scroll down to learn more about the science behind Inagene Personalized Insights™ and how a simple cheek swab test is revolutionizing medication prescribing.

Order A Test Kit

99.9% of people have gene variants impacting their medication response.

Pharmacogenetic testing confirms which of those genetic variants you carry, and what that means in terms of which medications and doses are likely to work best for you, empowering your healthcare team to personalize your treatment to achieve the best possible outcomes, while minimizing side effects and safety risks.

Did You Know?

Pharmacogenetic testing programs are being implemented at a growing number of leading healthcare institutions, including Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins, Stanford Medicine, St. Judes Children’s Hospital, Hospital for Sick Children and many more.

What are genetic variants?

Our genetic code is determined by our DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). Our DNA is like a recipe book made up of different combinations of 4 building blocks, known as nucleotides.

The 4 nucleotides that make up DNA are adenine, guanine, thymine, and cytosine (A, C, G, T). The order that these nucleotides appear in is very important. A genetic variant is any alteration in the most common DNA nucleotide sequence vs. what is expected or “average. Any change in the order of these nucleotides can affect how a gene codes for an enzyme involved in processing medications (eg. your body may make too much or too little of an enzyme, or it may affect how well the enzyme works). This, in turn, can affect how your body responds to the medication.

How do my genes affect the way drugs work in my body?

The human body has incredible processes to break down or activate medications. There are several important proteins in the body that play significant roles when a medication is ingested:

  • Enzymes: break down or active a drug so it can take effect
  • Protein transporters: help a drug go to where it is needed
  • Protein receptors: let the drug into the cell where it will take effect

Certain genetic variants can impact the quantity and effectiveness of these enzymes, transporters and receptors, driving wide variations in responses to medications between individuals.

How do my genes affect the way drugs work in my body?

The human body has incredible processes to break down or activate medications. There are several important proteins in the body that play significant roles when a medication is ingested:

  • Enzymes: break down or active a drug so it can take effect
  • Protein transporters: help a drug go to where it is needed
  • Protein receptors: let the drug into the cell where it will take effect

Certain genetic variants can impact the quantity and effectiveness of these enzymes, transporters and receptors, driving wide variations in responses to medications between individuals.

Why does knowing your genes matter?

Up to two out of three individuals treated for pain or mental health conditions do not respond properly to the first treatment they are prescribed.

Knowing which genetic variants you have can help healthcare professionals more accurately identify the most effective and safest treatment options for your BEFORE a prescription is written, so you can feel better sooner.

A recent study of >3,000 patients with mood and anxiety disorders showed that individuals who underwent pharmacogenetic testing had 40% fewer emergency room visits and 58% fewer hospitalizations overall than those who did not.

This is why knowing what genetic variations you have can be important.

The most common genetic variants are single nucleotide changes (polymorphisms), known as SNPs. Although most SNPs are harmless and mainly determine differences in traits like eye color), some variants can play a major role in how we respond to medications. Pharmacogenetic researchers study how certain gene variants impact how we will respond to different drugs, and what this means in terms of which drugs and doses will work best, and which should be avoided for each person.

This is why knowing what genetic variations you have can be important.

The most common genetic variants are single nucleotide changes (polymorphisms), known as SNPs. Although most SNPs are harmless and mainly determine differences in traits like eye color), some variants can play a major role in how we respond to medications. Pharmacogenetic researchers study how certain gene variants impact how we will respond to different drugs, and what this means in terms of which drugs and doses will work best, and which should be avoided for each person.

People usually fall into 1 of 4 metabolizer “types”

Genetic differences can drive large variations in dose requirements, and can even cause unexpected drug-drug interactions.

Intermediate Metabolizers of a drug process the drug a bit too slowly, causing a buildup of the drug at standard doses, and potential side effects.

Poor Metabolizers of a drug break down the drug very slowly, causing a build-up that can result in toxicity (side effects or safety issues), even at standard doses.

Normal Metabolizers of a drug will process the drug at “normal” (expected) rates, which means they will have an expected response at standard doses.

Ultrarapid Metabolizers of a drug will process the drug and remove it from the body much too quickly, resulting in little clinical effect at standard doses.

People usually fall into 1 of 4 metabolizer “types”

Genetic differences can drive large variations in dose requirements, and can even cause unexpected drug-drug interactions.

Intermediate Metabolizers of a drug process the drug a bit too slowly, causing a buildup of the drug at standard doses, and potential side effects.

Poor Metabolizers of a drug break down the drug very slowly, causing a build-up that can result in toxicity (side effects or safety issues), even at standard doses.

Normal Metabolizers of a drug will process the drug at “normal” (expected) rates, which means they will have an expected response at standard doses.

Ultrarapid Metabolizers of a drug will process the drug and remove it from the body much too quickly, resulting in little clinical effect at standard doses.

Learn how genetics affects your body’s metabolism of a drug.

The benefits of pharmacogenetic testing last a lifetime.

The genes you were born with stay with you for life, and so do your Personalized Insights™ test results. You never have to repeat the test, and your results are updated regularly to reflect new data or new medications. Let pharmacogenetics be your GPS to help you arrive at the best treatment plan for YOU faster.

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Have a question?

A pharmacogenetics test can be done at any time, from infancy on. Typically, patients who are struggling with pain or mental conditions order one of our tests to determine which medication will work best for them based on their genetics. Additionally, patients who are currently being treated for a variety of other conditions (e.g. cardiovascular, oncology, gastroenterology) might decide to order a PGx test to determine if their current treatment plan is ineffective or contributing to adverse outcomes (side effects). However, you can decide to order a PGx even if you aren’t on any medications as a proactive measure. Your DNA does not change but the medications you take as you age do. Thus, in the future, if you are ever prescribed medication, you can share your report with your HCP to determine the best medication for you based on your genetic profile.