Why Genetic Testing for Mental Health Meds is Important

Posted by ainsleigh @ainsleigh, Feb 11, 2019

@ainsleigh– Recently we learned that my 19 year old Grandson (who has been diagnosed with depression, panic attacks and anxiety) has not been
on the right medication. In fact the one he has been on was in the red (wrong) zone as opposed to green or yellow. Needless-to-say he is tapering off it in preparation to be put on one in the green zone! We did learn this through the Genetic Testing. If you are able to access this testing I would really recommend it!
Best wishes
Ainsleigh

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Depression & Anxiety Support Group.

@colleenyoung

Hi @summertime4, you'll notice that I moved your message to this existing discussion called "Why Genetic Testing for Mental Health Meds is Important." I did this so you can meet others who are talking about gene testing and how it can help determine the medications that may and likely won't help you.

In addition to the information that @ainsleigh @rachel123 and @mpm1 shared, I'd also like to bring @wsh66 and @johnbishop into this discussion. Steve has used GeneSight I believe and John used Mayo's GeneGuide and I hope they'll share their experiences.

Summertime, has your doctor recommended that you get gene testing done or was this something you are exploring to gather info?

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Search Genesight testing. You will find links for patients, and doctors. Based on your Gene's, you'll submit a swab, they can tell which meds your body will metabolize well and which you won't. If you can't metabolize a certain drug you won't benefit from taking it
Your doctor must register with Genesight. It's free and it takes about 15 minutes. If your doctor doesn't want to do this, (they can be stubborn or just to busy), they will furnish a list of doctors based on your zipcode. That doctor will explain your results and give you a copy of your report that you can have entered into your medical record. This test is most useful for selecting psychotropic and analgesic medications. Most insurance and Medicare will cover it. I found it to be a very valuable service.

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@summertime4

Has anyone had the blood test/saliva test to determine what medications would be of value for you?

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Hi @summertime4 — I had the Mayo Clinic GeneGuide and thought it was excellent. What I liked about it was the online tools and the educational aspect of learning more about my genetics. They do a great job of taking you through each section and you get a really detailed report when it's done.

Here's the information on what's included – https://www.mayoclinic.org/mayoclinic-geneguide#included

My test didn't show much as far as medications – most showed that I would metabolized normally. I did find out I am an increased risk for Age Related Macular Degeneration (Genes CFH 1, ARMS2 1).

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@wsh66 Thank you Collen for moving me to this sight. Yes, the psychiatric nurse took a saliva sample 2 weeks ago and we just met by tele something on the computer. She had the results from my test. Very interesting. The two medications I have been on are not likely benefiting me. I knew that. That was the reason I sought out a new provider. She went over it with me the best she could via computer. She will also be sending me a copy of the results. She sent in a prescription for another medication which is more in line of what can benefit me. She prescribed Trintellix, which is a fairly new psychotropic medication which may help with depression and anxiety. I am eager to read posts from others who have also had the Genesight testing done.

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great news genesight testing sure beats the psychotropic Med Wheel of Fortune we've been on for so many years.

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Why aren’t doctors more on board with this testing?

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@sears

Why aren’t doctors more on board with this testing?

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@sears — That's an interesting question. After I did the Mayo Clinic GeneGuide testing I was asked if I wanted to give my permission for it's use by my doctors and I said absolutely. I think my Mayo primary care team can access the information if needed. Not sure I would want the health insurance companies seeing genetic data but that may just be me. Here's some information that may provide some understanding from a physicians perspective.
f
Routine DNA Screening Moves Into Primary Care
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/05/22/613090774/routine-dna-screening-moves-into-primary-care

Genetic Testing: A Physician's Perspective
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10747371/

What Is the Role of Nongeneticist Physicians, and Are They Prepared for It?
https://journalofethics.ama-assn.org/article/what-role-nongeneticist-physicians-and-are-they-prepared-it/2009-09

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@colleenyoung

Hi @summertime4, you'll notice that I moved your message to this existing discussion called "Why Genetic Testing for Mental Health Meds is Important." I did this so you can meet others who are talking about gene testing and how it can help determine the medications that may and likely won't help you.

In addition to the information that @ainsleigh @rachel123 and @mpm1 shared, I'd also like to bring @wsh66 and @johnbishop into this discussion. Steve has used GeneSight I believe and John used Mayo's GeneGuide and I hope they'll share their experiences.

Summertime, has your doctor recommended that you get gene testing done or was this something you are exploring to gather info?

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Genetic testing sounds interesting for those of us who are medication resistant or sensitive, but most likely it is out of pocket expense and not covered under Medicare which would make this option cost prohibitive for me.

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@marjou

Genetic testing sounds interesting for those of us who are medication resistant or sensitive, but most likely it is out of pocket expense and not covered under Medicare which would make this option cost prohibitive for me.

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@marjou – probably for most of us genetic testing is not covered but in some cases it might be. I found some information that may help you determine whether or not it is covered by Medicare.

Medicare Coverage for Genetic Tests: Know the Facts — https://www.medicareadvocacy.org/medicare-coverage-for-genetic-tests-know-the-facts/

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@johnbishop

@marjou – probably for most of us genetic testing is not covered but in some cases it might be. I found some information that may help you determine whether or not it is covered by Medicare.

Medicare Coverage for Genetic Tests: Know the Facts — https://www.medicareadvocacy.org/medicare-coverage-for-genetic-tests-know-the-facts/

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I went through the Genesight company and my test was completely covered. I'm not positive if I was on Medicare at that time but I believe I was. My son got his test through MA and it was completely covered . If it's not covered, inquire of them what it would cost because the last time I spoke with them they had a sliding fee for people who didn't have insurance. You can waste a lot of money on a few months worth of drugs that don't work for you and put yourself through a lot of misery as well. I know nothing about Mayo's testing cost or what they test for but Genesight was the first on the market.

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@johnbishop

@marjou – probably for most of us genetic testing is not covered but in some cases it might be. I found some information that may help you determine whether or not it is covered by Medicare.

Medicare Coverage for Genetic Tests: Know the Facts — https://www.medicareadvocacy.org/medicare-coverage-for-genetic-tests-know-the-facts/

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Thank you for info.

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