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Medications: One Size Does Not Fit All

Everyone has unique, complex genetic characteristics. We typically think of these as things that determine our eye color or whether we are likely to develop certain diseases and disorders.  However, genetics also affect how we respond to most commonly prescribed medications. More than 75% of people have genetic variations that determine how their bodies process and use drugs. This applies not only to prescription medications, but also to over-the-counter medicines, herbal and dietary supplements, and recreational drugs such as marijuana. Because of these genetic differences, two people can take the same dose of the same drug, but respond in very different ways.

For example, the drug might work very well for one person, but not at all for another. Or the drug might cause side effects for one person, but not for someone else.

Lab Express Personalized Prescribing enables selection of the right drug and dose


Pharmacogenetic Testing

Pharmacogenetic testing is the alternative to “one size fits all” and “trial and error” prescribing. Knowledge of patient drug metabolizing gene variants—found in more than half of patients—can help determine the appropriateness and dosage of many of the most commonly prescribed drugs.

In some cases, drug-related side effects can be serious or cause death – even though the drug was prescribed correctly by the doctor and used correctly by the patient. People who take several different drugs face an even greater risk of dangerous side effects, especially if they are over 65 years of age.

Individualized patient reports based on patient drug, herbal, and diet regimens.

Lab Express' Personalized Reports include patient-specific information on potential drug-to-drug interactions (DDIs) mediated by the tested polymorphic drug metabolizing enzymes, taking into account patient diet and OTC and herbal medicines.

Lab Express provides physicians with immediate insight into individual differences in their patients’ drug processing ability and helps physicians improve the efficacy and safety of the prescribed treatments. This information can be especially valuable when potential DDIs are a possibility.

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Warfarin is the most commonly prescribed anticoagulant in the world. In fact, over 7 million patients are on Warfarin at any given time. Warfarin prevents 20 strokes for every bleeding event that it causes.The dose of Warfarin required to achieve a stable therapeutic effect varies widely among individuals and the consequences of incorrect dosage are severe and, in some cases, life- threatening.

Warfarin side effects are the main cause of emergency hospital admissions for severe bleeding. Its regimens require significant dose adjustments to establish a stable International Normalized Ratio (INR) of 2.0-3.0. Approximately 21% of patients who receive anticoagulant therapy experience either major or minor bleeding events. The average bleeding cost associated with Warfarin is $15,998.

Patient response to Warfarin has been shown to be influenced by genetic factors.

Clopidogrel (Plavix) is given for patients with Acute Coronary Syndrome and especially for stent procedures. Approximately 90 million patients are on Plavix. Up to 30% of patients treated with standard doses of Plavix respond poorly, thus increasing their risk of recurrent ischemic events.

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