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We know you may have questions. That’s why the Genetic Pharmacology Service for children and adults provides answers to frequent questions about pharmacogenetic testing.
A pharmacogenetic (PG) test can be done before or after a medicine is given.
Before a medicine is given: A PG test may help your doctor choose the medicine and dose that will work best for you.
After a medicine is given: A PG test may help the doctor understand why you are having problems with a medicine. The test may also help the doctor decide if a different dose or different medicine should be tried.
Most PG tests are optional. A few medicines are designed for people with certain cancers or infectious diseases. A PG test of a tumor or a person’s blood may be needed to know if a medicine will work. Most times, you can be treated with standard medicine doses without this gene testing. Make sure you understand why your doctor is recommending a PG test for you.
A small sample of blood or scrapings from the inside of your cheek is analyzed for specific genes that can influence a person’s response to a medicine.
Genes are pieces of DNA that we inherit from our parents. Genes provide the instructions to make our bodies look and work as they do.
Some genes affect the way medicines work in the body. When comparing a group of people, there can be slight differences in each gene’s structure. These differences can affect how people react to medicine.
In the future, some of these common gene differences may be found to be associated with other medical conditions.
The test results may be important for other family members. Biologic brothers, sisters and parents may have one or more of the same tested genes in common.
The cost of the PG test depends on many factors. Insurance companies usually cover the costs of genetic tests that are used to guide medical management. Insurance companies vary in their coverage policies. It is wise to ask them directly whether they will cover the cost of PG testing.
Test results on a blood sample will be ready in two business days. Test results on a sample of cheek scrapings may take up to four business days.
The doctor or nurse will discuss the test results with you. The doctor will receive a report from the laboratory. The report will describe how your doctor can adjust your medicine based on your test results.
Yes. Cincinnati Children’s strictly follows HIPAA guidelines to protect medical information.
Your DNA from your sample may be stored for up to two years in case future tests are needed. Neither your sample nor DNA will be used for research purposes.
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