Pharmacogenomics

The impact of SARS-CoV-2 has been unprecedented around the world. Amid the pandemic, it is clear that reactive approaches including trial & error and untailored methods of prescribing may not suffice, and that explains why pre-emptive measures are a significant part of patient care. 

Besides, have you ever wondered why everyone diagnosed with the same disease and prescribed the same treatment does not achieve the maximum benefit?

The reason could be your DNA. Let’s walk through masked DNA variants, which might explain the roots of medication misadventures. How do we do that? The answer is Pharmacogenetic (PGx) Testing.   

Pharmacogenomics is the study of how genes affect an individual’s response to medications. Several clinical factors are known to influence drug response, including age, body size, kidney and liver function, and concomitant drug use. However, the mere consideration of these factors is often inadequate to predict the likelihood of a drug’s efficacy or safety for a particular patient. 

A Quick Introduction to Precision Medicine

We are all unique, So is our drug response!

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Depiction of difference in drug response among individuals. Image source – Neurorestorative.com

Medications – Not to be a cause!!

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Medications are prescribed to mitigate the condition. But, not to amplify it. Today, extensive literature reveals data about Adverse drug events and medication errors.  According to a study, the incidence of ADRs in hospitalized patients is approximately 17% (Click here for reference). The incidence of ADR in ICU patients is 20%, and 13% will be a fatal or life-threatening scenario (Click here for reference). Imagine the value of having pharmacogenomic information readily available for patients before hospitalization.

Bench to Bedside – Know your risk

The trial and error method at bench (research) might lead to an invention, whereas at the bedside, not a best practice. One error can cost more than life. For Instance, Carbamazepine has been widely used in the market to treat seizures. However, it causes Steven Johnson syndrome/ Toxic epidermal necrosis (SJS/TEC) The occurrence of this adverse event can be explained by mapping your DNA. (That is what MedicaMap does.) Know your risk beforehand! And achieve maximum therapeutic benefits. 

When it comes to this pandemic, it all started from Hydroxychloroquine to Remdesivir, and we don’t know where it ends until we hit the bull’s eye. This could be the real exemplar for a trial-and-error method of prescription. For example, some of the medications being explored as experimental COVID-19 treatments – like chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir/ritonavir, and azithromycin – can be related to an increased risk for ADRs. (Commonly experienced was, QT- Prolongation.) ( Click here for reference)

There is strong evidence for gene-drug interactions between some of those medications and genes such as CYP2D6, CYP2C8, 6GPD (for chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine), and CYP3A4 (for lopinavir/ritonavir). Pharmacogenetic testing of these above-mentioned genes can help in reducing the adverse effects. 

Here’s what you need to know about PGx MedicaMap (Pharmacogenetic Testing) that can predict your response to certain medications. 

Pharmacogenomics: The Exciting Science of Personalized Medicine

What is MedicaMap™?

MedicaMap is a cutting-edge pharmacogenomic test that analyses your DNA to assess your drug response profile. One test, one time, and get information about your response to ~100 FDA-approved drugs ranging from painkillers and antidepressants to anti-cancer drugs!

Clinical Benefits 

  • High efficacy and safety.
  • Reduces hospitalization.
  • Decreases medication-related costs.
  • Optimize dosage – e.g., reduced dose for poor metabolizers, increase the dose for ultra-rapid metabolizers! 

“One test, One time, One life, One You, live effectively.”

Personalization at its best; at present, from phone cover to jewellery, everything needs to be personalized according to your choices. Why not the medicines that you take? –

Everything is personalized, Even applies to Medicine.” 

References

  1. Moore P., Burkhart K. (2017) Adverse Drug Reactions in the Intensive Care Unit. In: Brent J. et al. (eds) Critical Care Toxicology. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-17900-1_33
  2. Rothschild JM, Landrigan CP, Cronin JW, Kaushal R, Lockley SW, Burdick E, Stone PH, Lilly CM, Katz JT, Czeisler CA, Bates DW. The Critical Care Safety Study: The incidence and nature of adverse events and serious medical errors in intensive care. Crit Care Med. 2005 Aug;33(8):1694-700. DOI: 10.1097/01.ccm.0000171609.91035.bd. PMID: 16096443. 
  3. M. Whirl-Carrillo, E.M. McDonagh, J. M. Hebert, L. Gong, K. Sangkuhl, C.F. Thorn, R.B. Altman and T.E. Klein. “Pharmacogenomics Knowledge for Personalized Medicine” Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics (2012) 92(4): 414-417.

About the Author

Dr. Satyavardhan Rao Nittu – A Pharmacogenomic Consultant and Educator. My goal is to improve the quality of life for each patient by maximizing the efficacy of necessary drug therapy, eliminating adverse effects, and improving individual patient outcomes.
Like DNA, I replicate and recombine in uncertainty, I overcome obstacles by protecting myself with adequate repairs, until, I achieve my goal of Implementing Precision Medicine in practice.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Pharmacogenetic testing can become a great step to moderate Therapy. When Physician/Pharmacist gets readily available Pharmacogenetic information of the patient it is an added benefit to tailor patient Medications and check their response to certain medications. Pharmacogenetic Testing provides such information if tested once. I appreciate the efforts of Medicamap in improving personalized Therapy through Pharmacogenomics.

  2. This is where every citizen should focus, this way of knowing ourselves is really important. Truly said, when we wish to personalize everything why not the medications. And this way of drug intake will keep you minimal on adverse effects. So, Indeed helps you to reduce your adjoining effects. This is a new and very much effective way to work on diseases. Lifestyle is changing, hence the diseases are prone to come. Why not, we know about it prior. Great initiative..

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